National Union of Students


Press release   •   May 30, 2012 14:15 BST

The National Union of Students (NUS) today welcomed proposals from the Rt. Hon Alan Milburn, the Government-appointed Independent Reviewer of Social Mobility and Child Poverty, for NUS and TUC to work with the Government to improve access to internships.

Mr Milburn's progress report recognises that work experience is increasingly important to social mobility and that there are significant barriers for many young people to finding useful internships.

These barriers range from informal recruitment, which favours those with connections within their favoured industry, exploitation of interns as unpaid labour (a particular problem in the creative industries), and poor quality of placements which do not help interns to develop useful skills.

Liam Burns, NUS President, said:

“We look forward to working with the Government and TUC to reduce hindrances to accessing internships, improving their quality, and cracking down on employers who exploit unpaid labour. "

“This progress report is a thoughtful addition to the debate and shows Nick Clegg and HMRC are in a position to act now to ensure fairer access to internships. It is crucial that we all work together to put these words into action and to ensure that barriers are broken down and the opportunities of work experience are available to all."


NUS (National Union of Students) is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.

We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students.