Businesses should be paid to take on disadvantaged interns, according to a thinktankCompanies should be provided with financial incentives to set up internships for young job-hunters from troubled backgrounds, according to a new report from centrist thinktank Demos.

A study carried out by the London-based organisation and the Foyer Federation recommended that the government should review jobseekers’ allowance to ensure it does not discourage youngsters from taking up offers from intern schemes.

“Internships are about who you know and what you know – you need contacts and qualifications,” said Demos director Julia Margo. “More important than paying people to intern is making sure they learn the skills they need.”

The document also suggested the establishment of a nationwide internship network making it easier for businesses to share information about their experiences of working with disadvantaged young people.

Bosses seeking further guidance on how best to nurture their workforce may wish to consider attending the Talent Management and Leadership Development Summit 2010, which takes place at London’s Aldersgate House in October.

Posted by Cameron Thomson