So Arcadia have finally gotten around to paying their interns.....a year after they were meant to....
Interns who have worked in the head offices (and only the head offices mind you) will receive actual wages for their hours in the next few weeks. I'm sure this is great news to those who struggled to eat, pay rent and live while they interned for a company that wasn't paying them.
While internships are a great way to gain experience - they are also completely exploiting young students who need the experience. No one can afford in this day and age to give away free work like that. Trust me, I've been there.
"We've done everything we think we're supposed to do," Arcadia
Green told the Guardian. "We think we've been leaders
in education in the fashion retail business. We've built an
academy. We've got 700 kids working. We try to encourage other
people. We've done our job. We're not interested in getting into a
running debate with the Guardian about who said what to who and
this that and the other."
This isn't out of the kindness of his heart though.....
Early last year I posted that the fashion industry had been warned against exploiting their interns and ordered to pay them at least minimum wage. So he isn't doing it because he wants to - but because he has to. The British Fashion Council is supporting this move to protect young interns - damn right - sorry but if your office is in London - what the hell do they think your going to eat? Grass? Air? Things cost money and if you've just left college then you're going to be as broke as..... No one can afford it.
HMRC have been checking up on brands and their claims to have 'paid' their interns by issuing warning letters. "These letters give fashion houses plenty of warning that
they are under scrutiny. If they are not playing by the rules, now
is the time to put things right. Non-payment of the national
minimum wage is not an option. Our message is clear:
don't wait for us to come knocking on your door; put things right
now and avoid a penalty and possible prosecution."
Apparently there were 102 warning letters issued to brands who exhibited at London Fashion Week.....
You can read the Guardian article that Green refers to here