Today, Ed Miliband has committed the party to “look closely” at the issue of unpaid internships in the party’s upcoming policy review. In a letter to campaigning group Intern Aware featured on Labourlist- http://www.labourlist.org/labour-party-to-investigate-ending-unpaid-internships , Miliband said
“[The prevalence of unpaid internships] prevents young people with modest means from getting on and achieving their aspirations. It is unfair and unrepresentative, and it must change. I have not taken on unpaid interns to work in my office. I have also encouraged other colleagues in the Labour Party, including members of the shadow cabinet, to do the same – and we will look closely at this issue in our policy review”.
However from one who campaigned so vigourously for the “Living Wage” and as one who actually signed the Intern Aware pledge, I think to “look closely” is not enough. As we know unpaid internships place a brrier to those like me from underprivileged background and who live outside the M25 who would need to pay for travel, the opportunity to gain valuable experience.
Mr Miliband I urge you to go beyond looking, Mr Miliband tear down this wall, Mr Miliband OPEN THIS GATE! End unpaid internships NOW!
Concrete, walls of concrete block the way,
Wall to opportunity,
Wall to experience blocks the way,
Labour unpaid, no help given,
To the underpriviliged no help given.
We want a fair crack of the whip,
A fair chance to progress,
We need action, to open the way,
We won’t settle for less.
The time has come to honour your pledge,
To show that your words alone have an honourable weight,
Mr Miliband the time has come to tear down this wall,
Mr miliband, let us embrace a fairer chance and a fairer future,
Mr Miliband, open this gate!