Normally AMW blog does not involve itself in the issue of unpaid internships. But the Old Vic has been on the radar recently, as currently one of the biggest employers of unpaid actors in the country. The Old Vic has not responded to Actors Minimum wage enquiries about unpaid actors, even though the Old Vic clearly in currently in receipt of Arts Council funding!
Now the Old Vic is advertising for candidates for ongoing 3 month internships, the majority of which are likely to be taken up by young people. These internships contribute towards the expenses of these vulnerable workers, but do not provide even the minimum wage. Have a look at a screenshot of the Old Vic’s own advertisment:
The Charities commission reports the Old Vic Trust 2000 spending at £8,625,739 for the last year of accounts recieved. So why aren’t these positions paid?
There is a strong argument that the people participating on these internships are in fact the beneficiaries of the Old Vic as a charity. Why are the Old Vic’s trustees allowing the beneficiaries of the Charitiy to be exploited as unpaid workers? Even if in some perverse way this is legal, how can this be right?
How come these internships do not comply with Skillset’s Guidelines for Employers offering Work Placement Schemes in the Creative Industries?
The Old Vic has been contacted and queried about this issue, most recently on their Facebook page. Here is the screenshot.
The Old Vic has not replied, except to take a threating legal posture.
Please visit the Old Vic website or their facebook page and contribute to the discussion!