Demos is aims to translate the Good Practice Guidelines for Ethical Internship designed in collaboration with the Interns Network into its everyday practice. Below are the Ten Points of the guidelines, each followed by what we're doing to try to achieve them.
Maximising value and productivity
- Interns should be made to feel welcome and valued in the working environment; they should have adequate workspace, resources and contact time with line-managers and other staff. - Each Intern has their own computer and desk, which rotate on a weekly basis so as to circulate around the office. Interns are always welcome to talk to staff, along with being able to participate in regular meetings.
- Interns should be offered all possible opportunities to learn about the workplace; be allowed to read publications and other materials, ask questions and attend meetings where appropriate. - Interns are welcome to attend most meetings on request, come to events and engage in most tasks in the office.
- Demos should try to ensure that interns gain valuable experience and skills; work should include some challenging and stimulating tasks. - Interns are taken in as part of the research/media and comms teams, and take part in a range of activities. Less interesting tasks are shared amongst all interns, and efforts are made to make sure they do not impede on their other tasks.
- Interns should have an exit interview, with an appraisal of their performance and work and an opportunity to give feedback on their experience. - This is offered to all interns and they are encouraged to keep in contact with Demos after they leave.
- Demos should be up-front about forthcoming employment opportunities and should take care not to raise false hopes. - It is made clear at the beginning of the internship that it is not designed as a path to a job.
- Interns should be given a clear idea of their responsibilities and possible tasks, within which both employer and intern can work flexibly. - We try to make sure that as much information about the internships as possible is given on our website. Potential interns are encouraged to ask any questions they have both before and during their internships.
- Interns should be recruited through openly advertised competition; positions should not simply be offered to contacts. Specific adverts should be placed for interns, or employers should state clearly on their website that they consider ad-hoc applications. - All internships are advertised clearly on our website.
- Interns should receive reasonable expenses and employers should make efforts to ensure that internships are available to all, irrespective of background or ability to support oneself.- Expenses up to a value of £75 per week are offered for food and travel. We are looking into ways in which more could be provided for those who do not live in or near London.
- Employers should be sensitive to the pressures of working for free; where possible, they should allow part-time working and should not expect interns to continue unpaid for extended periods. Where suitable, internal work which might otherwise be outsourced (dictation, temping and data-entry for example), should be offered to interns as a means of earning extra cash. - Doing an internship part-time or with flexible hours is considered on an equal footing with a standard full-time internship. Interns that are required to stay on for longer than their planned period of work are offered temporary contracts. Unfortunately, there are few opportunities for earning extra cash at Demos.
- Employers should offer interns advice on pursuing their chosen career path. Where appropriate, they should share contacts and experience to help interns find paid work. They should offer tips on writing CVs and covering letters, and on interview-technique. - Such career advice is given and employees are happy to give appropriate contacts that might be helpful with an interns particular interests. Each intern has a mentor who will do their best to help in this respect.
If you feel that Demos does not live up to its ethical internship guidelines, or can think of a way in which we could be doing more towards them, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.