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Scotland: MSP Launches Bid to Ensure Interns are Paid a Living Wage

May 17, 2011
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A LABOUR MSP is calling for a living wage for Holyrood interns serving one month or more. New Lothians MSP Kezia Dugdale has lodged a motion calling for MSPs to pay their interns, who are currently unpaid on a work experience basis, a wage of £7.15 per hour.

The motion calls on parliament to recognise "that unpaid positions are accessible only to those who can afford to work for free".

Ms Dugdale said her first experience of the Scottish Parliament was in 2004 when she secured an unpaid internship working for a Labour MSP.

"I remain extremely grateful for that opportunity, but I'm also acutely aware of how many young people may never get that chance, simply because they can't afford to work for free," she said.

Intern Aware campaign co-director Ben Lyons said: "Unpaid internships restrict opportunity to the wealthy."