From intern to employee: Alison’s story
Youth Music’s internship programme provides meaningful work experience in a variety of roles, paid at the London Living Wage. Our Digital Marketing Intern Nelle interviewed colleague (and predecessor in the role!) Alison about her progression at Youth Music and what the Living Wage has meant to her.
Nelle: Could you tell me more about your role as an intern at Youth Music?
Alison: Last year I interned at Youth Music as a digital marketing intern, and I was working on the Give a Gig Week fundraising initiative, focusing mainly on social media and creating online content.
Would you have decided to go for the role had it not been paid?
I don’t think I could have taken on this role for three months, especially with my commute to and from work, as it would have been expensive. I have done unpaid internships in the past, but I had the option to work from home, so it didn’t really cost me anything. Doing an internship at Youth Music gave me the financial freedom to do the things I wanted and needed to do.
Would you say your intern experience played a part in you securing permanent work?
The skills I gained from my internship at Youth Music allowed me to become a part-time employee at both Youth Music and the Prince’s Trust. It made my CV look a lot better too.
The fact that Youth Music pay the Living Wage made me want to come back, which is why I applied for the Communications Assistant role, because I know Youth Music value their employees equally.
What do you think about unpaid internships? Do you think all internships should be paid the Living Wage at the very minimum?
There are a lot of paid internships out there, but there not always paid fairly. Living costs and commutes to and from work should be taken into consideration, especially in an expensive city like London. The Living Wage should be standard for anybody who wants to offer internships; it should replace the national living wage.
Paying your interns the Living Wage is a reflection on how you feel about them. When they feel valued it affects the work that they put in. If you want to get the most out of your interns, show them you respect them. Pay them at least the minimum they deserve.
About the Living Wage
The Living Wage is a voluntary rate, calculated independently and based on the real cost of living in the UK and London. The UK Living Wage is currently £8.75 per hour, and the London Living Wage is currently £10.20 per hour.
It’s different from the government’s national living wage, which is currently £7.50 an hour and only applies to those aged 25 and over.
Angela Linton, Youth Music’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for the Friendly Funder Award as we’re committed to paying people the real Living Wage to lift workers out of poverty – and helping our grantholders do the same.”