Wanted: one unpaid Intern… or should that be chauffeur!

ed-headThe election is nearing and local parties are beginning to get down to the difficult task of campaigning. That means plenty of volunteers need to be enlisted to help!

This also means a whole host of unpaid graduates are being recruited as ‘campaigns interns’. All parties are at fault for this. But have a look at Ed Fordham, Lib Dem PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn.

It’s a very winnable seat for the Lib Dems… but they don’t seem to be putting much money into the campaign as their FULL TIME AIDE / PRESS & MEDIA OFFICER will be an unpaid intern.

To quote the advert:

“Ed now needs someone dedicated to managing his diary and handling media enquiries”…

Sounds like a job to me…

But they will be only paid… “Modest travel and lunch expenses”. Modest! 50p for a loaf of bread from Tesco?

Duties would entail:

  • Arranging the candidate’s diary
  • Dealing with media enquires
  • Writing and planning press releases
  • Accompanying the candidate on the campaign trail
  • Working in the local campaign office

“and a driving licence would be a bonus.”

An intern Chauffeur! This is a new one.

It goes on… “Be prepared to work flexible hours to suit the pace of the campaign”. Ahh… so as an intern you wont be able to come and go as you please. If you get elected Mr Fordham.. will you vote to ditch minimum wage laws? You seem to be breaking them pretty clearly here.

Fordham’s office were contacted for comment but never replied. They have been told this is breaking National Minimum Wage laws, yet they are doing nothing about it… unlike this Lib Dem, who changed their policy after being outed in the local press.

Anyone write for a local paper in Hampstead and Kilburn?

4 Responses to “Wanted: one unpaid Intern… or should that be chauffeur!”

  1. 1 Jay Effkay 10/23/2009 at 8:45 pm

    I generally agree with everything on this site - interns should either be paid or should know that they are volunteering.

    But I do think this site needs to consider the other perspective sometimes. MPs and PPCs rely on an army of activists helping out for free on rainy sunday afternoons stuffing leaflets through letterboxes. These people aren’t exploited - they do it because they believe in the politics. A PPC clearly doesn’t have money to spend on wages, and when a PPC needs someone savvy to manage their campaign they won’t be able to pay them (and will probably feel that they want someone who is willing to work because they believe in the cause).

    You’re right to point out that his advert is illegal by NMW laws. But it seems to me that the alternative is that a PPC won’t advertise at all, and would simply ask around his pals and activists for someone to fit this role. So: being faced with the reality that they can’t afford to pay someone, but they need someone to do a proper job, the opportunity doesn’t get advertised anywhere at all, meaning that politics becomes even more of a closed shop.

    • 2 internsanonymous 10/27/2009 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Jay, you’re right, people should be able to volunteer for a cause they believe in and I completely understand your view point. It’s just that the wording of this particular ad was very demanding and read more like a job spec than a request for volunteers. Would it be ok to post your comment on the main body of the site? It would be good to get a discussion going about this issue, particularly regarding what people think about internships disappearing/going underground if payment is made compulsory. Rosy IA

      • 3 Kit Friend 10/30/2009 at 6:24 pm

        Can’t help but wonder if the PPC will retrospectively pay those who they’ve exploited for free - once an MP there’ll get a nice pay packet in exchange for their hours committed on the campaign trail - surely interns should get at least the same?

  1. 1 Twitter Trackbacks for Wanted: one unpaid Intern… or should that be chauffeur! « Interns Anonymous [internsanonymous.co.uk] on Topsy.com Trackback on 10/16/2009 at 5:12 pm

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