Dear Sir / Madam

I recently had an interview for an "internship" scheme posted on graduate talent pool. It would have been a fantastic opportunity for me to progress as a professional yet I am not in the position financially to undertake such a scheme. As a recent graduate with a vast amount of debt owed to the student loans company and a £1500 overdraft that are now both exponentially accruing interest, I simply cannot afford to take unpaid or pathetically subsidised work experience.

This comes at a time when graduates like myself are considered to be a in a position to pay higher tax rates. Encouraging graduates to take unpaid work is criminal, under any other circumstance working such hours is illegal – the reason why we are fortunate enough in this country to have a minimum wage.

This website serves as a portal for employers to attain dirt cheap labour, it is quite frankly disgusting. The fact that such a website is said to be backed by the government is frightening (using the direct gov domain).

Since it is full time "employment" I would not even be able to claim JSA, there are several things that this website misses and that is 1) people need to feed themselves 2) people need a place to live & 3. people shouldn’t be expected to work like slaves just so unemployment statistics don't look so bad.

If I were to volunteer for something it would be for something worthwhile i.e. helping impoverished communities get back on their feet and it certainly wouldn't be to help a company fill their own pocket at my expense.

Granted we are in the recession, but even so, it further widens the gap between the rich and the poor since those who can afford to offer their time for nothing will be in a better position professionally once we finally climb out of this economic downturn.

What I would suggest is implementing ISO 9000 quality procedures into this "scheme" to ensure that those who are fortunate enough to undertake such a position are offered at least some kind of remuneration. At least some kind of auditing system is required. As in my circumstance the prospects of working within a desired company are very attractive and I fear some may be exploited.  I would also suggest offering some advice on how graduates, like myself, can receive financial assistance for undertaking such work, it is a scary contrast when we can quite clearly see those who have no will to work or contribute to the UK's tax system are receiving substantial benefits while those who are willing to work suffer.

Why is this idea important?

I would like to draw your attention to this forum:

Opinions on that forum very clearly demonstrate a cause for concern. This website should either be reinstated or removed – it is not a good impression for a governmental website.

I'm sorry for such a pessimistic response to this initiative but it is quite simply unacceptable.

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