Careers Service

Unpaid work experience

Find out about how the Careers Service can help with unpaid internships.

The Careers Service does not advertise unpaid internships, however, we know that some occupational areas, such as media and journalism, can be difficult to break into without first gaining experience on an unpaid basis. 

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

You can apply for a bursary to support with the costs of unpaid or low paid work experience through the Make it Happen Fund. The bursary can be used to cover travel or accommodation expenses that are not reimbursed by the employer. 

For certain sectors, such as science, there may be research scholarships available to help fund summer internships. Some graduate recruiters also offer competitions for paid work experience. See individual roles within Explore Occupations for more details.

Understand your rights

If you're considering working on an unpaid basis, then you may have questions about your employment or payment rights. sets out legislation, payment entitlement, and sources of further help.

The following websites give information about unpaid work experience: