London council first to commit to getting 500 young people from low income backgrounds into PAID internships with the city’s best employers

18 July 2019

Southwark Council has approved plans to get 500 young people from low income backgrounds across the borough into paid internships with some of London’s best employers as part of a trailblazing new scheme.

Under the new Internship Programme, interns will be paid at the London Living Wage as a minimum, and opportunities will not just be provided to graduates but to year 12 and 13 students to help boost their confidence and work readiness.

Studies show young people remain disadvantaged in the labour market. Those aged 16 to 24 in 2016 were 2.6 times more likely to be unemployed than those aged 25 or older. Those from lower socio-economic groups are also less likely to enter a professional job while people from professional backgrounds are 80 percent more likely to get into a professional job than their less privileged peers.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Business and Innovation, said: “Having a skilled, talented and diverse workforce is essential to the success of our local economy, and to meeting our ambition to become a full employment borough.

“We’ve achieved record employment levels in Southwark over the last few years. However those from less advantaged backgrounds remain more likely to be out of work – or to be in a job with lower pay and prospects than their peers from better off backgrounds. We also know these young people face specific challenges in moving from education to employment and we want out internships to provide a platform for those who need it to embark on a successful career.”

Southwark Council will also be leading by example and introducing its own Internship scheme with a commitment to offering 100 paid internships to young people from the borough.

Full details can be found in the Cabinet report that was approved this week (Tuesday 16 July).

Page last updated: 18 July 2019