Governments lost track of graduates, claims specialist graduate recruiter Give A Grad A Go
Government's lost track of graduates, claims specialist graduate recruiter Give A Grad A Go
Freedom Of Information request reveals 25% expected to work for free
Department for Business Innovation & Skills admits data on how many graduates gained employment from scheme is "not collected"
Specialist SME graduate recruiter, Give A Grad A Go (GAGAGO), today releases alarming statistics that show 25% of the 33,935 internships and placements listed on the Government run Graduate Talent Pool since its launch 3 years ago, offered no form of payment (40% unpaid in 2009, 18% in 2010 and 30% thus far in 2011). The data is from a recent Freedom Of Information (FOI) request made to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS).
The Graduate Talent Pool is the Government's own dedicated service designed to match graduates with internship opportunities. GAGAGO requested information on the number of roles posted to the site in 2009, 2010 and 2011 (up until May 6, 2011) how many of the roles offered any form of payment, and how many of the roles were filled by graduates registered on the site.
Cary Curtis, GAGAGO founder and MD comments: "Recent social mobility debate between the prime minister and his deputy has highlighted the lack of a coherent approach to internships and work placements. Nick Clegg's new Social Mobility Strategy is a step in the right direction, as we believe all graduates should be treated as employees and paid accordingly, regardless of the position's label or their social standing.
"The word 'internship' carries no legal definition and therefore often leads to graduate exploitation. The Low Pay Commission actually states on page 97 of its April 2011 report that, '...Unpaid internships can be advertised, but if actual working arrangements are such that the person is a worker then, by law, they are entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage.' This is besides the fact that in our experience, graduates entering paid work placements are more motivated and produce a better standard of work than their unpaid internship equivalents."
The FOI also revealed that BIS keeps no record of how many graduates found work using its specialist website. Curtis laments: "We are alarmed at the fact that when questioned, BIS admitted it kept no record of how many graduates actually obtained work placements or internships through the Graduate Talent Pool. With the Office for National Statistics recently revealing graduate unemployment at its highest levels since 1995. more students graduating from university than ever before, and some of the highest student debt levels on record, the government needs to step up its efforts in providing jobs for this highly trained and academically talented demographic."