My task for the last two days was to help JP (John Punter- our lobbyist) to gather research about hiring a new intern/volunteer. The purpose of this new postgraduate post will be to work with JP on Public Affairs and PR. The intern will be provided with a six month comprehensive traineeship which involves experience of some of the basic processes which govern UK and EU political processes, helping to draft and implement a public affairs programme/plan and an understanding of PR and the various elements which make up the media and how it supports public affairs work.
So for the last two days I have been researching possible London universities that we could contact in order to recruit this new postgrad intern/volunteer and also the legality of the employment of volunteers and interns.
The issue of legality began a few days ago when I was reading an article about the contention that law firms may be breaking the law if they are not paying their interns the national minimum wage. Aside from the intricacies of the employment law, the article touched on the contention that these law firms were preventing social mobility because poorer individuals were less likely to be able to undertake these internships. The key message from the article being surely at least the top law firms could afford to pay their interns the national minimum wage. There were a wide variety of opinions on this article and some that said that the legal profession should be in the hands of the rich and wealthy. While I shall not directly comment on this statement, surely the wealthiest law firms should be promoting SOME diversity.
The volunteer or intern at the Eye Hospital will be working for a world renowned non-for-profit organisation; they will be chosen solely on their merits and will be gaining vital experience in a sector that is very difficult to break into. My experience working for The Order of St John for the past two months has been hugely beneficial to my knowledge and skills in the charity sector. For me the best thing about working for St John has been working within a small team. This has allowed me to work alongside individuals who are incredibly skilled and knowledgeable in what they do; it has also allowed me to take on a great amount of responsibility and to gain a wide array of skills.
Well, I PROMISE that the next blog will be a little less serious!- but I thought that the views of this article were worth sharing…..until next week….