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Creative industry should ditch 'slave labour' internships urges the BIG Partnership

Scottish agency the BIG Partnership has called for the eradication of unpaid internships across the PR, media and marketing industries.

The creative shop has decided to voluntarily adopt the higher-rate national living wage of £8.25 per hour for all interns, to underline "the valuable role they play in the business."

BIG Partnership founding director Alex Barr said: “Asking interns to work for nothing on the premise of ‘gaining valuable experience’ is a fig-leaf used by too many agencies and devalues the vital contribution that they make to our industry."

He likened unpaid placements to "slave labour" and said companies who offer them are "abusing the trust of young people who are simply trying their best to get a foothold in our industry."

Both the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) have introduced initiatives to discourage the practice of unpaid internships in the industry, but these have yet to be adopted en masse.

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