Unicorn Theatre, who specialise in performance and education programmes for children, has suspended its internship programme after consulting with Arts Council England (ACE). The position of communications intern had previously been listed on their website as a ‘voluntary placement’. The advert said the role would last between three to six months, with volunteers being asked to work up to five days a week, and expenses of up to £200 a month offered.
ACE advises that if interns are of ‘worker status’: taking part in substantial tasks and activities, they should be paid the minimum wage. After discussions between Unicorn and ACE, the theatre decided to suspend all internships.
A spokesman for Unicorn Theatre told The Stage: ‘Following further discussions, the theatre is now suspending this scheme in advance of the Arts Council’s new grant programme, to create paid opportunities for young people looking to start a career in the cultural sector.’