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Unpaid work experience

We don't advertise unpaid internships. However, there are some sectors where unpaid internships are common.

Navigating the job market

It can be difficult to get graduate jobs in some areas of work without having unpaid experience. 

It's important to understand your employment rights. Many unpaid internships are illegal and should be paid.

Funding options

You can apply for support with the costs of unpaid or low paid work experience through the Make it Happen Fund. Funding covers travel or accommodation expenses that are not reimbursed by the employer. 

Certain sectors may offer research scholarships which can fund summer internships. For example, Newcastle University offers funding for summer research.

Some graduate recruiters also offer competitions for paid work experience.

To find information about work experience options in specific sectors, see Explore Occupations.

Understand your rights

You may have questions about your employment or payment rights. sets out legislation, payment entitlement, and sources of further help. They also offer a guide to employment rights and pay for interns.

The following websites give information about unpaid work experience:

Seek advice

You may want to speak to a professional about your circumstances. The following services offer free, confidential advice:

To make a complaint about not receiving National Minimum Wage, you can use the HMRC online form.