Unpaid Internships in the Arts: Training or Abuse?

“The opportunity to enlist unpaid interns has been abused, not out of necessity, but out of greed and mismanagement,” opines PR professional Will Wood.  Interns are getting as well as volunteers more and more important for the arts sector. In November 2011 Arts Council England has issued a free, 18-page guide on Internships and the Arts what, exactly, an internship should be. Although developed for the UK this guide may be a useful tool for other countries, too.

Among the parameters:  an internship should be short-term, between two weeks and six months; well-defined and with a specific title; a first experience or next step after volunteering — as opposed to asking someone with expertise and experience to work for no pay. With entry-level jobs few and far between, there is concern in the UK that some firms are using free or low-paid interns where they should be employing staff. Find your copy here.


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