Work experience is a pain to find, and even more of a pain when you realize you have to pay the expenses to get there and if it’s in London then you’re £100 down after only one week. But I’ve got used to it, I’m happy to do it and ultimately, if I can get work experience then paying for my travel is only a small price to pay considering the benefit it might get me in the future.
So I’ve pretty much convinced myself that after this NCTJ course I will be applying for unpaid internships, happy to work an awful bar job on the weekends to hopefully get me enough money to live off and buy the occasional outfit from River Island.
(Preferably this bikini, I haven’t decided on the colour yet)
From what I’ve seen, these internships will be unpaid, full time hours, sometimes not even paying all expenses for around 4 months. Six months is pushing it a bit and if it’s a year then you’re guaranteed to be on minimum wage.
So, yet again the work experience search has began to find some as part of the NCTJ. I decided to look on a smaller scale, for magazines in brighton and came across this from Brighton Source Magazine:
“It’s illegal to employ people without paying them minimum wage. We know that doesn’t help you gain experience, but you can see where the government is coming from. The only time that you can do unpaid work experience/internships is while you’re in education (the NUJ are very firm on this).”
So apparently it is illegal? Although nearly every magazine/newspaper will offer these 4 month internships with only expenses paid AND you have to apply for them with pretty good experience to actually get on it? On such a smaller scale magazine, it’s strange to see they won’t be accepting any interns unless you were in full time education. Well if only this were true and those internships I’ve been thinking of applying for I would actually be getting paid. I won’t be in education so will I get the national minimum wage? Doubt it.
You do see the occasional internship that casually put at the end of the advert that you will get paid N.M.W which is all trainee journalists want really! If you’re passionate, willing and determined then I’m sure a lot will work for little money just to get their foot in the door. I know the internships at ELLE magazine in the features department say they pay although I’m guessing it’s a lot harder to get on Elle than it is a Brighton Source magazine.
Moral of the story: I will still be working for free when it comes to internships.