Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg often appears in the press highlighting the issues with internships, telling publications such as PRWeek that workplaces across Britain desperately need to be opened up, and PR is no exception. “Too often it’s who you know – not what you know – that counts”. It is becoming extremely common for companies to offer unpaid internships, which are often only a feasible option for a select few. Research undertaken by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) in conjunction with Intern Aware found that three-quarters of interns said that they would not be able to afford an internship without assistance with finance or accommodation.
In addition, the research found that 15% of PR intakes were paid minimum wage, 10% were paid expenses plus a small stipend which was less than national minimum wage, only 13% received more than the national minimum wage and a staggering 62% of PR interns were not paid at all.
Here at SilverDoor we are proud to be one of the few companies that not only pay our interns above the national minimum wage, but go further and give them the opportunity to apply for a full-time position back with us after they graduate. To date six students have returned as full-time employees after graduating.
Each year we employ two PR & Marketing interns on a 12 month contract as part of our placement programme and strongly believe that paying them for their time and ideas, and the contribution they make to the company, is vital.
Having carried out a PR & Marketing internship at SilverDoor as part of my degree, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to come back as a full-time employee. The experience I gained during my internship was invaluable and the perfect way to start my career.
Internships are hugely beneficial for both the person undertaking them and the employer, and we have just recruited eight new placement students in PR & Marketing, Partner Relations & Rates, Finance and Sales.