Don’t worry this is not another article about why unpaid performance analysis internships are wrong. You can read plenty about that here and here. Instead I wanted to show how much an internship is really worth – to an employer.
Some quick assumptions;
- Most of the internships or ‘work expereince’ roles advertised require full-time hours, or close enough, but for the sake of this let’s say it’s 30 hours per week for 9 months of the year (thats 39 weeks).
- Again most of these roles require some prior experience or qualification. So we should assume (rightly or wrongly) that these workers could earn at least £10 per hour in the open labour market.
Based on those crude measurements, which you can adjust up or down depending on your view, an employer is getting £11,700 worth of labour for free. If we increased the working hours to 40 which seems more realistic to me that figure becomes £15,600.
Give & Take
Now it’s not all give from an interns point of view, they clearly get something in return. Access to a club, the opportunity to perform skills they have until recently only exercised in a classroom, valuable contacts and a host of other soft skills that they can only learn on the job.
But employers need to respect how much value they are getting as well. I had a quick search and to do the MSc in Performance Analysis through Middlesex University it cost £7,000. Although these course are listed as full-time in a lot of cases they are not 40 hours a week for 39 weeks. Students would find time to have a part-time job as well.
If students arrived at the door of a club and said here is £7,000 can I work for you for free would the clubs feel they are offering the same value as a masters? I’m sure some clubs do feel they offer that level of service and deliver a level of learning and experience money can’t buy. Just remember the next time you advertise an unpaid internship that you are effectively asking someone to give you £15,000 worth of their time! Are you confident you are giving them back £15,000 worth of value?