the Arts Group has been working this year on ending the exploitation of unpaid workers, particularly in the Creative Industries, and the blatant disregard for National Minimum Wage Legislation in virtually any sector deemed to be "oversupplied" with graduates and students willing to work for free. Rather aptly, the BBC has now released a programme where they openly admit to making use of unpaid workers, and compare their conditions of employment to "a victorian workhouse". The presenter, Top Gear's James May, openly gloats about how much cheaper it is to use free labour, and then omits to thank the students amongst the other people at the end of the progamme, or provide any credits. Welcome to the pit of despicable working practices that is the entry to the Creative Industries for more than a few.
Please read the post at http://www.artsgroup.org.uk/ and let the fight begin properly. All the focus thus far seems to have been on parliamentary interns getting abused, and this programme is a relatively minor (but public) infringement of employment legislation - they are the tip of the iceberg.
Please find attached the draft of the Arts Group's Policy on Emerging Workers that seeks to deal with this. We will be releasing the final copy of this, along with support from various groups in the coming weeks.
Kit Friend Esq. | Campaigns & Communications Officer | University of the Arts London Students' Union
Chair of The Arts Group | Representation & Action for Students of the Arts | http://www.artsgroup.org.uk
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