Think tank calls for more support for disadvantaged graduates
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is calling for more support for disadvantaged graduates to enable them to have better access to internships.
A report from the think tank, titled The Inbetweeners: The New Role of Internships in the Graduate Labour Market, found that whilst there are as many as 70,000 internships on offer, many of the positions do not offer meaningful learning opportunities.
The IPPR is now calling for universities, employers and the government to work together to help to provide more opportunities for disadvantaged graduates after discrimination, low confidence in navigating opaque recruitment practices and a lack of knowledge on how to find good placements were revealed as the main barriers to young people from underprivileged backgrounds gaining an internship.
The think tank has made a number of recommendations for improving access to internships for underprivileged graduates, such as urging universities to work with charities that have relationships with employers, encouraging students to take up placements, and suggesting that employers use the apprenticeship levy to offer high-quality placements to graduates.
The IPPR also recommended that a new association should be established to help provide interns in London and the rest of the UK with a stronger voice.
IPPR Research Fellow Carys Roberts commented that it is very difficult to access internships in a lot of sectors, and it is those with the connections, financial means and know-how who find it the easiest to gain entry to this important career stage.
Roberts added that for internships to help rather than hinder social mobility, universities, employers and the government should act together to increase the availability of internships and minimise the barriers for those who are disadvantaged.