Swanky new site makes it easier to get a top internship for posh kids

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Snooty parents are using a “harmful” new exchange site to get exclusive work placements for their teenage kids.

MyInternSwap is an online exchange for well-heeled parents to offer each other’s children swish intern opportunities at their own companies –– including BMW, HSBC and even the Royal Navy.

The site claims to break down the old boys’ network, but today campaigners for fair internships hit back at the service, calling it “harmful for society”.

A quick scan of the site reveals upmarket internships at top companies in banking, law and engineering are up for grabs –– only for those whose parents have a good enough offer to make in return.

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This member is offering work experience at BP in exchange for an opportunity in consulting, law and sales

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A placement at top accounting firm KPMG is on offer if you can exchange one in education, academia or the public sector

MyInternSwap makes it free to create listings but users must cough up £24 for a 12-month subscription to contact other members and make and accept offers.

Now campaigners for fair internships have denounced the site for restricting the best placements to those from good families.

Intern Aware co-director Ben Lyons said: “The principle of this site is to make internships less about abilities and skills.

“Young people are told at every stage if you work hard at school and university, you’ll be able to get ahead.

“But actually what this site is saying is you need to have parents who can get you into internships. It’s not right.

“This is harmful to society. It’s something which is going to be quite damaging for our economy.”

Ben explained sites like MyInternSwap restrict the talent pool of people who can afford to do unpaid work.

He added: “You want to have a society which is going to get people into top jobs who have worked hard.

“We speak to businesses who are deeply concerned about unpaid internships like this because they only take from a small pool of talent who can afford to do them.

“We’ve done research and found seven out of ten young people can’t afford to work for free.

“This risks closing the doors to some really talented, hard-working people.”

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Fancy a job in the Navy? Looking for offers of work in sales, marketing or PR

MyInternSwap founder Nick Simmons claims his site is designed to get rid of the old boys’ network, not reinforce it.

He told The Tab: “We spoke to commissions and did our own research. We found there are not enough work experience places.

“One example is the bankers daughter who wants to study fashion, but her parents don’t have any contacts.

“Our own survey tells us 75 per cent of people get internships with help from their parents.

“And we want to show interships are not limited to people on high salaries, but we can’t force social mobility.

“We’re not cannibalising an existing stock of jobs, but creating more.”