Govt-funded internships ‘could save state money’

By staff

The government could save money by paying employers to take on disadvantaged young people as interns, a thinktank has claimed.

Demos argued in a report out today that employers could be incentivised to take on those who are not in employment, education or training for internships through payment from the state.

Doing so would save the government in welfare benefits as well as boosting the economy.

“Getting at-risk young people into internships will go a long way to giving them the opportunities and aspirations open to middle class graduates – we should think of them as a ‘non-graduate talent pool’,” Demos director Julia Margo argued.

“More important than paying people to intern is making sure they learn the skills they need. A quality internship that pays only expenses is far more valuable than one that pays people a low wage to do menial jobs.”

The report recommended reviewing the JobSeekers Allowance benefit to ensure it does not put young people off applying for internships.

It also proposed a nationwide internship network which would allow companies to share their experiences of working with disadvantaged young people.