Music industry internships

Lobbying groups UK Music and Intern Aware have drawn up an ‘Internship Code of Practice’, which aims to encourage music industry employers to pay their interns. This Code of Practice aims to show employers what they should be offering, whilst also imparting crucial knowledge to interns as to what they should expect from their employer.

Is an internship beneficial?

An internship is a role often undertaken by young people and graduates to gain experience in a defined line of work. Theoretically, the talent, skill and work ethic of an intern during their placement will be valued by companies therefore increasing the intern’s chances of future employment. Even if an intern feels undervalued and disenfranchised by a work experience placement, it can be the case that by simply having it on a CV it can lead on to better opportunities.

There is no denying that the music economy in the UK creates over 100,000 jobs, making it one of the UK’s strongest cultural assets.

Well known companies who offer internships to music graduates:

  • Universal Music Offers 12 month internships paid at the London living wage
  • Sony Music : Over 20 paid 12 month internships
  • Live Nation Offer paid internships in their London HQ and across the country at festivals and venues

How to get a company to adhere to the Internship Code of Practice:

“The Code of Practice is an investment of intent, that as an industry we will follow clearly understood guidelines to get the best practice” Jo Dipple, Chief Executive of UK Music

There is no way for an intern to insist on being paid. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other music enthusiasts who would gladly take up an unpaid internship. Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction to *politely* make employers aware of the Internship Code of Practice and its principles.

UK Music’s internship principes:

  • Internships are a short period of work and training and also allow employers to assess potential employees
  • Internships should be advertised openly and transparently and recruited on merit
  • Interns should always be paid at least the national minimum wage to ensure they are judged on their talent, not their ability to work for free
  • Internships should be of high quality, structured to ensure both parties benefit from the opportunity

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