The debate about voluntary internships raged over the summer. A Museums Association poll found that seven in 10 respondents thought unpaid internships were exploitative. This Government also published a Best Practice Code for High Quality Internships which recommends that internships should be paid if they are not a compulsory part of a university course. It all felt a bit like all volunteer internships were at best exploitative and at worst just plain wrong, which I’m sure many of us disagree with, but there were rightly clear messages about the need for equality in opportunity and flexibility.

Volunteering England stepped up to the plate and issued new guidance on Internships, including advice on how to set up a mutually beneficial programme. You should read this if you’re involving volunteers as interns since it clarifies the legal issues around involving interns as volunteers or workers.

I should be in a position to share more detailed thoughts on voluntary internships in the next issue.

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