Olly Wells

Former Liberal Democrat Councillor for Knaphill Learn more

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Not agreeing with Nick or Cameron on internships

by admin on 27 April, 2011

Following the media comment about Nick Clegg wanting to address the issues of poor social mobility in the UK through ensuring that it is not ‘who you know’, but ‘what you know’ in the UK that makes a difference.  I would like to add my view that there is actually nothing wrong with helping friends and family out with internships, but equally there is a need to address issue of social mobility.

Rather than weakening or removing advantage that currently exists, effort needs to be made to create opportunity for those without it. This is a serious issue in need of resolution, if we are to enhance social mobility and move further towards a meritocracy in this country. I would advise the coalition to create a system that requires organisations with over a certain number of employees, for example 25, that offer internships to be required to offer an equal number of ‘backdoor’ internships as internships through a national government scheme. To overcome advantage created by location, universities could be required to offer free accommodation to those not living in the region of their internship for up to 2 weeks in the summer, with a transport and business dress subsidy available in a way similar to the current, soon to be abolished education maintenance allowance (EMA).

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