Exploited for a Good Cause? Campaigning Against Unpaid Internships in the UK Charity Sector

  • Vera Weghmann University of Nottingham
Keywords: Internships, volunteering, resistance, activism, UK


In this activist report I aim to show that unpaid internships in charities need to be understood as both morally unjust and exploitative, and that we can do something about it. Together with my fellow interns and interns from another charity, I organized a campaign, NoPay?NoWay!, for a decent wage for all workers in the charity sector, including interns. After six months, we successfully managed to stop the use of unpaid internships in both workplaces. This is my story.


Author Biography

Vera Weghmann, University of Nottingham

Vera Weghman is currently doing her PhD at the University of Nottingham. Her thesis is entitled The Employability Promise: The Cases of Unpaid Internships and Workfare in the UK and is funded by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. She has also been an activist in various groups and movements and recently co-founded the grassroots trade union, United Voices of the World, which is almost entirely comprised of migrant workers in London’s low wage, service sector.

Interrogating Internships: Intern Labour Activism