Almost one in five (17%) businesses believe that the main reason to use interns is to get work done at a cheaper rate, according to a new report from campaign group, Internocracy.

However, the research, carried out by YouGov, did find that the majority (52%) of senior and middle managers believe the main reason to take on interns is to identify potential new talent for the organisation.

Around six in ten (62%) permanent employees who had worked in an organisation that had used interns said the interns were treated fairly.

The report finds:

“The research demonstrated that people were mostly wary of how companies treat interns, with the majority thinking that employers were somewhat exploitative and unfair in their approach to hiring young people.

“There is a real need to tackle internships which may treat interns unfairly or in the worst cases exploit them as a source of cheap or even free labour.”