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Work for Free?

spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
edited September 2010 in The bottom bracket
Am suprised no one has commented on the story doing the rounds that the Met Police are expecting prospective officers to do 18 months unpaid work as a special before being eligible to be considered as an applicant for a full time police officer.

Is this taking the unpaid internships a bit far?
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  • Maybe all employers should do it, 40 years unpaid 5 days a week, full time hours as "training" :wink: of course can't claim benefit as you're doing voluntary work..
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  • Wasn't there something in the news a little while back about unpaid interns at Law firms?
    I think it was ruled that they should be able to claim minimum wage or something...
  • Wouldn't be too bad, if being unpaid as a Ferrari test driver. And the cost of living is zero.
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,281 Lives Here
    Take it you're not a recent university leaver Spen?


    Unpaid internships are very common and for some careers extremely necessary to get proper employment.
  • zaneszanes Posts: 563
    Aren't specials part time and designed to fit round a full time (other) job? As opposed to internships which are full time.

    All I can say re unpaid internships: Do engineering ;)
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Take it you're not a recent university leaver Spen?


    Unpaid internships are very common and for some careers extremely necessary to get proper employment.

    If I was a recent univerity graduate, I'd be even more upset at such practices.

    Its effectively a form of slavery. I would outlaw the practice. I certainly do not think it is a practice that government/ public sector bodies should be practicing
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  • Maybe all employers should do it, 40 years unpaid 5 days a week, full time hours as "training" :wink: of course can't claim benefit as you're doing voluntary work..

    You can volunteer as much as you like and still get benefits (JSA, etc) as long as you're actively seeking work. However, if they send you on one of those fake ''New Deal'' courses you'll be faced with a choice - stop volunteering or lose benefit. So if you're volunteering to keep your CV active, to get current work and training experience and to have up-to-date referees, New Deal ''opportunities'' - yes, they call them that - will screw you...
  • Take it you're not a recent university leaver Spen?


    Unpaid internships are very common and for some careers extremely necessary to get proper employment.

    More like taking advantage of willing slaves...I mean trainees. Don't agree with more than 1 months unpaid work experience (and that has to be beneficial to me as well, not the employer) No way would I do 1 year unpaid work, in the "hope" of getting that job at the end of it. More likely sorry mate not taking on at this time, and then they move onto the next mug willing to do 1 years unpaid work.
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    @ Father Jack - the sentiment you echo here is one I worry about. Will the flow of new recruits dry up if people are put off by this 18 months of enforced pro bono work?

    It smacks of the public sector jumping on the bandwaggon of desperate graduates and trying to get their labour for nothing
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  • My dad was a special, and seen first hand "work experience" and overheard conversations on directors laughing about work experiences unpaid work (hell even if they just do office junior stuff, that's still £5.85 /hour saving)
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  • ProssPross Posts: 29,559
    I think it's a good idea myself as it will ensure that applicants actually want to be police officers rather than seeing it as a recession proof job until the job market picks up elsewhere. Specials have been around for years doing the job voluntarily so it makes sense to see how serious a candidate is and ensure the most committed make it through. I'm more concerned that they are intending to only recruit graduates and suspect they would have lost many good officers over the years by employing that rule - I'm not quite sure why a degree will make someone a better copper!
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Pross wrote:
    I think it's a good idea myself as it will ensure that applicants actually want to be police officers rather than seeing it as a recession proof job until the job market picks up elsewhere. Specials have been around for years doing the job voluntarily so it makes sense to see how serious a candidate is and ensure the most committed make it through. I'm more concerned that they are intending to only recruit graduates and suspect they would have lost many good officers over the years by employing that rule - I'm not quite sure why a degree will make someone a better copper!

    would you be prepared to do your job unpaid for the next 18 months to prove to your boss you are committed?

    No? Strange that you think it is a good idea for others to do it.

    This is a bigger barrier to entry to the police force than requiring a degree
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,281 Lives Here
    Ultimately, if you're a university graduate, what sets you apart is your work experience.

    I agree it's very unfair - especially when companies regularly refuse to pay expensive above "£5 a day travel costs", which for those who would have to commute or even move to said place of experience (it's tough to get good PR experience in Doncaster for example).

    In such a tough market place for grads, or indeed any school leavers, you have to do what you can to stand out.

    It's particuarly tough on students who don't have parents to fund such internships. I have a couple friend who took out loans just to pay for travel to internships & interviews.
  • Pross wrote:
    I think it's a good idea myself as it will ensure that applicants actually want to be police officers

    In the words of Tony Montana

    **** that.
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  • ProssPross Posts: 29,559
    spen666 wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    I think it's a good idea myself as it will ensure that applicants actually want to be police officers rather than seeing it as a recession proof job until the job market picks up elsewhere. Specials have been around for years doing the job voluntarily so it makes sense to see how serious a candidate is and ensure the most committed make it through. I'm more concerned that they are intending to only recruit graduates and suspect they would have lost many good officers over the years by employing that rule - I'm not quite sure why a degree will make someone a better copper!

    would you be prepared to do your job unpaid for the next 18 months to prove to your boss you are committed?

    No? Strange that you think it is a good idea for others to do it.

    This is a bigger barrier to entry to the police force than requiring a degree

    If I was a new entrant to the job market and genuinely wanted to do the job rather than thinking "what job is likely to give me job security" then yes I would. Ultimately it is no different to doing 18 months of education / training surely? What it will stop is people who decide on a career change to the police.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    We get a fair few officers who go through all the thousands of pounds of training only to decide it's not for them. This costs the force a fortune in wasted training and then retraining another candidate...

    Being a special for, say, 10 hours a month would let you know if you were 'up for it'.

    However to enforce it upon people is pretty bobbins. Yes, it will show those that are really committed but what about those that want to be officers (and would make very good ones) but can't, for whatever reason, give up the time.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    NapoleonD wrote:
    We get a fair few officers who go through all the thousands of pounds of training only to decide it's not for them. This costs the force a fortune in wasted training and then retraining another candidate...

    Being a special for, say, 10 hours a month would let you know if you were 'up for it'.

    However to enforce it upon people is pretty bobbins. Yes, it will show those that are really committed but what about those that want to be officers (and would make very good ones) but can't, for whatever reason, give up the time.

    +1
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  • NapoleonD wrote:
    We get a fair few officers who go through all the thousands of pounds of training only to decide it's not for them. This costs the force a fortune in wasted training and then retraining another candidate...
    Being a special for, say, 10 hours a month would let you know if you were 'up for it'.

    However to enforce it upon people is pretty bobbins. Yes, it will show those that are really committed but what about those that want to be officers (and would make very good ones) but can't, for whatever reason, give up the time.

    Maybe it's the selection process that needs looking at there, but you'll always get drop out from this.
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  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    It wouldn't be so bad if these 'internships' actually offered proper training, so often I here of these people making the tea and sweeping the floor, hadly the introduction to work a graduate should be doing for free.
  • How does it compare to other jobs?

    Graduate level salary after passing through the selection process, very secure (well, traditionally), pension etc.

    So what they're suggesting is 18 months as a special voluntering part-time or full-time?

    If it is part-time then I think it's a very good idea - much more reflective of the demand for the job in a job market. If it's full-time then it is indeed bobbins as this would severly restrict those who could apply for it.

    Why should a graduate level job in the public sector get free training? The public sector argued heavily for private sector wages and wants to keep the public sector working conditions and wants subsidised education/training for it?

    Yes, they are vital positions but in terms of the job market it's pretty sweet

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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Well without training? The public sector are going to either
    a) have staff who can't do their job
    b)No staff

    I presume the private sector are also wrong to train the peole they want to do their work




    As for your point about the pension. The police pay a rather large % of their salary into their pension


    i can't think of a more misconceived post Simon. Of course it is the employer's responsibility to train their staff
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  • Dont know about the police but selection processes have a lot to answer for

    I have seen grads employed in several industries and I wouldnt pay them in buckets of censored .

    Bit harsh I know but despite quals some didnt have any people or practical skills. At least these training opportunities give them the chance to see if they really want to do it and the chance for an employer to check them out

    £1.25 for sign up http://www.quidco.com/user/491172/42301

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  • spen666 wrote:
    Well without training? The public sector are going to either
    a) have staff who can't do their job
    b)No staff

    I presume the private sector are also wrong to train the peole they want to do their work




    As for your point about the pension. The police pay a rather large % of their salary into their pension


    i can't think of a more misconceived post Simon. Of course it is the employer's responsibility to train their staff

    Sorry for the confusion - What I was getting at was the pre-education for a position e.g graduates pay a lot of fees to access the graduate job market and many work part-time to assist this.

    Currently, as far as I know, a police applicant needs to pass the selection process - not sure about minimum requirements for GCSEs or A-Levels. This then gives access to a very good entry salary and working conditions.

    Is the proposal to make people do 18 months voluntary for a pt/ft police 'trainee' matching the principal of those who want a high-quality job like a police officer role, showing the commitment to the profession and ensuring long-term loyalty to the job, a low drop-out rate following completion of the training period post-selection and creating a higher-quality police force.

    My understanding is that there is a high demand to get into the police and with a limited number of places, this seems to match the job market conditions of 'we want the best for the job' and mirrors other industrie in obtaining the best staff for a hard and demanding role.

    Of course employers should pay for training (though sadly mine did not and I had to foot a £2K bill) however I do think candidates for a job role should have to show dedication and commitment in either previous roles or have a good standard of education - this is something which the proposal suggests. A degree wouldn't necessarily be usuable on the streets, so work experience may be the best way.

    The only other thing I can think of is to go the way of nursing and make all police trainees complete a degree/vocational in policing (whatever that would entail....?) as a mandatory requirement prior to entry - again reflecting the job market of getting the education and then applying in the job market like everyone else would do.
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  • AggieboyAggieboy Posts: 3,996
    spen666 wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    We get a fair few officers who go through all the thousands of pounds of training only to decide it's not for them. This costs the force a fortune in wasted training and then retraining another candidate...

    Being a special for, say, 10 hours a month would let you know if you were 'up for it'.

    However to enforce it upon people is pretty bobbins. Yes, it will show those that are really committed but what about those that want to be officers (and would make very good ones) but can't, for whatever reason, give up the time.

    +1

    In reality it's not a lot of time expected to be given up though, is it? Four hours a week. Not too much if it's a job you aspire to, and lots less than some people would study for in order to gain certain jobs. There is also the major benefit of free train, tube and bus travel. There are also schemes in London whereby employers allow their employees to patrol during work time and still pay them. Police civil staff can also do their hours during work time. So it's not simply a case of working for free for 18 months and, as stated, may sort the 'wheat from the chaff'
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  • tebbittebbit Posts: 604
    Come on Aggie where would the headline be in such a sensible proposal?

    Metropolitan Police come up with sensible employment proposal, not really a way of getting people to buy your red top is it?

    I have to agree with Radioactive Man there are graduate trainees I have had the misfortune to have to attempt to train up, who bucket loads of sh1te would be an over payment, however there also have been some excellent ones too.
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