Much has been written about a skills gap in my industry. Nuclear has an ageing workforce and we desperately need to get more young people to see it as a place where they can grow a career if Britain is to remain at the forefront of the industry worldwide.
UK Music is launching an Internship Code of Practice because we are committed to helping skilled and dedicated young people find a job in a music business. We also want to ensure a fairer workplace for budding music industry professionals. Offering paid internships is one way to ensure those entering the industry have an equal chance of developing their skills irrespective of their circumstance.
While unpaid internships certainly present a big problem for socially mobile students, it would be wrong to dismiss the benefits that internships can provide; internships are a mutually beneficial exercise, especially when the employer makes them meaningful, and the intern learns and develops their skills (not in tea-making for varying tastes, of course).
Hard work should be rewarded with fair pay. While a debate may be rumbling on between government and UK businesses about what constitutes fair pay when it comes to setting the bar for the minimum wage, there is still much that we can do as individual companies to encourage and nurture young talent...
When I think back to my summer, I see colours. Blue skies, turquoise seas, lush green, paired with saffron from the glowing sun in Europe and a smudge of brown from Glastonbury mud. I felt like I was beginning to get my own palette of the world and painting a picture of what it had to offer.
Did anyone spot the commitment in both the main parties' conference speeches to create a new workforce of thousands of young people - millions even - paid just £2.73 an hour? Actually the initiative wasn't just spotted but welcomed, alongside promises on zero hours contracts and the National Minimum Wage.
It looks unlikely that the job market will ever become tame but that does not mean it cannot be bested. It is up to us as individuals to bring as much as we can to the table when it comes to the assault course of assessment centres and interviews faced when we graduate from university. And so as repetitive as it may seem, it really is worth minding the gap.
Thinking about your future and getting onto the career ladder can be daunting, whether you have a strong CV or not. We often worry whether we are good enough for the role or if we have the right skills and experience.
Before I began work as a crew member I, like most of my friends, held a fairly negative set of beliefs about both the restaurant and its workers. The implication, along with most similar insults, was that McDonald's workers were slow, stupid, and miserable, and that working as a crew member was the classic 'dead-end' job. The first of these myths was debunked almost immediately.
British engineering is facing a serious skills shortage. Yesterday, the think tank IPPR published a report claiming that 'an additional 87,000 graduate level engineers will be needed in the UK each year between now and 2020' in order to meet growing demand, but that 'the higher education system is only producing 46,000 engineering graduates annually'. Well as a starter for ten, that maths doesn't look good.
An internship can be a crucial learning curve for a student or graduate, bridging the gap between theoretical work and practical application. It is also an investment in the talent of tomorrow, where today's interns can be tomorrow's employers...