What is the perception in Academia to graduate internships within the Creative Industries?
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This study looks at the proliferation of unpaid graduate internships within the creative industries and asks if they are worthwhile or are graduates being taken advantage of? Do they perpetuate the cycle of privilege where only those graduates who can afford to work for free receive the benefits? Why are internships necessary? Are Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) failing the students in their readiness for work following graduation? Ethical considerations regarding the use of unpaid labour have been dismissed by HEIs as a personal matter for the graduate while ignoring research that shows the inequality surrounding internships. There has been a recent backlash against unpaid internships, both in Ireland and abroad. JobBridge has received criticism for replacing paid positions with jobseekers earning an additional €50 per week while leading Art Colleges in London have banned advertising unpaid internships. Reports from the Untied States of America and United Kingdom highlight the disparity between future earnings of those who took unpaid internships versus those who had either undertaken paid internships or no internship with unpaid internships devaluing the currency of the graduates qualification. Using semi-structured interviews with Academic Programme Leaders and Heads of Department at HEIs throughout the Republic of Ireland, the study concludes that there is a lack of academic leadership in HEIs in Ireland. There are no systems in place regarding advertising or vetting of job opportunities and internships. Unpaid work is seen as a means of getting that first step on the career ladder and most programmes offering work placements on creative programmes are located far from the areas where clusters of companies are based making placement opportunities only available to those financially well off.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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