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How Much Will It Actually Cost You To Do An Unpaid Internship?

With a third of graduate internships going unpaid and around 22,000 graduates working for nothing, a new study by The Sutton Trust has calculated the average cost of doing an unpaid internship in London. 

It takes into account the price of rent, bills, council tax, food, broadband and other items such as clothing. But it excludes transport as most employers cover those costs.

It found that an unpaid intern in London can expect to pay £5,556 for a six month placement, or £926 a month. 

The report claimed that: “Internships commonly represent a first step in the ladder towards a professional career in the most competitive sectors, including fashion, journalism, politics, law, finance and the charity sector. Because these areas are so competitive, employers are often able to offer internships as completely unpaid positions.”

However, the amount graduates are expected to fork out has lead to claims that internships “favour the rich”.



The charity has since called for all interns to be paid at least the national minimum wage of £6.50/hour, essentially banning unpaid internships. 

It has also demanded more transparency and fairness in the recruitment processes and the charity’s director of development said the current system is “beyond the means of the vast majority.”

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