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The One Club seeks to tackle unpaid internships

The One Club for Creativity has urged agencies, brands, ad schools, and other organisations around the world to help support workplace equity by signing its new Paid Internship Pledge.

The initiative has launched with a number of founding signees: Cartwright Collins, The Community, Design Army, Edelman, FCB Worldwide, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, The Martin Agency, School of Visual Arts, R/GA, Sid Lee, and Wieden+Kennedy are amongst the companies who have pledged their dedication to paid internships.

The importance of internships


Internships are a necessity for new employees to start building a career in advertising and design. Through the provision of guidance and constructive feedback, internships enable growth in the industry.

They provide an opportunity for new workers to experience work expectations and cultures. Internships mark the beginning of effective networking, and allow workers to achieve credentials which makes them stand out in job interviews.

The issue is that internships are often unpaid, which is problematic for students and young creatives from disadvantaged backgrounds who need to pay for their expenses. As a result, students and young creatives are expected to overcome an impossible experience gap.

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How companies can get involved


Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club, has stated that agencies, brands, and other industry organisations are in a unique position which allows them to help young people advance their careers. “We call on them to sign the pledge to only offer paid internships, and support our drive to provide more equitable opportunities for economically disadvantaged and diverse candidates,” he said.

By signing the full One Club pledge, brands and agencies can upload their logos to be displayed on The One Club website and provide a link to the paid internships they currently offer.

The One Club has continued to provide only paid internships at a minimum wage rate – currently $15 per hour in the US – and has requested agency partners do the same.
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