Stand up against work exploitation and demand a New Deal

Wednesday 11-02-2015 - 11:25

As the cost of living and education continues to soar, more students are balancing employment to support themselves financially whilst studying. Many work entry level jobs with little experience of employment, leaving them at risk of exploitation.  

There are many dodgy polices and work practices that impact on students in the workplace both during and after their studies. NUS, students’ unions and most importantly, students and young people themselves will be standing up against work exploitation for our next Day of Action on Thursday 12 February.

Many students have to work to support themselves during their course, which given the rising costs of education, means for many it’s a matter of taking what’s available and putting up with bad wages and exploitative terms and conditions.

What we’re calling for

There are four policy asks which we’re calling on politicians to act on. We want a New Deal for the next generation on:

  • Apprentice Wages – we call on the next government to implement the equalisation of the National Minimum Wage so all workers, including apprentices and regardless of age, receive the same rate.
  • Inclusive Internships – before the next parliament, we want the next government so introduce and enforce legislation that ensures all work experience of over four weeks should be paid at least national minimum wage.    
  • International students post-work study visa – we call on the government to provide all non-EU international students with the right to work, free from restriction, for 12 months after study.
  • Zero hours contracts – in some cases zero hours contracts can work well for workers and employers but we want the next government to introduce and enforce a statutory code of practice on zero hour contracts.

Take action

Get involved at your college or campus by dressing up as an ‘interviewer’, arm yourself with a flip cam, phone or tablet and interview your students about their experiences of work exploitation. Get your students to give you short voxop style answers around the issues of work exploitation and share these on social media using the #GenerationVote hashtag.

Tips for questions you could ask on the day can be found in our campaign briefing. We created this example from conversations we had with students from Central St Martins earlier today.


Other ways your students’ union can get involved

Looking for more ways to engage your students with the Day Of Action? Here are some quick actions:

  • Ask your students to call our confidential internship hotline. That’s right, we’ve set up a hotline especially. Hand out these flyers to your students and encourage them to dial 01625413279 and share their stories of unpaid internships.
  • Start talking to your students about our four key policy asks around work exploitation and invite them to share their opinions and experiences across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #GenerationVote. We’ll share the best on our live feed throughout the day!
  • Remind your students that they can show politicians they care about work exploitation and other New Deal policy asks by registering to vote in the General Election on Thursday 7 May.
  • Share our Buzzfeed on ‘15 reasons unpaid internships shouldn’t be a thing’ with your students.
  • Read and circulate blogs by our officers Joe Vinson and Piers Telemacque which will be published on the day.

Need more information?

We’ve put together this campaign briefing with more information and ideas around the days actions.

In the run up to the General Election, NUS is holding regular Days of Action covering the key themes across the New Deal. You can find more information on our upcoming Days of Action online or by getting in touch with


A New Deal

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