The #1000BlackInterns programme hopes to recruit 10,000 black students into paid internships in various industries over five years.
A new programme to recruit 10,000 Black Interns into top British companies over the next five years has launched and experienced massive support from top industry leaders and politicians.
The #10000BlackInterns programme is a project that aims to recruit 10,000 Black students into paid internships in 20 different industries throughout the UK in the next five years. It is an expansion of the 100 Black Interns programme that took place in the finance industry last year.
The internships will be for a minimum of four to six weeks, and all the companies involved will be required to pay their interns the national living wage for the city that they are based in.
So far, the internships have been confirmed to take place in 10 different sectors, including: accountancy, education, health data science, healthcare management, insurance, investment management, law, long-term savings, marketing and advertising, and recruitment. More sectors are set to be announced soon.
The programme was founded by Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, Jonathan Sorrell, Michael Barrington-Hibbert and Michael Barrington-Hibbert with the aim of increasing opportunities for Black students to enter different sectors. The founders also hope that the programme will help to create a cycle of mentorship for the Black community that will expand beyond the scheme and continue for years to come.
The programme has garnered a lot of support from some very high-profile individuals. Former prime minister David Cameron expressed his support for the programme and said that it “will help build a more inclusive economy for everyone”. Chuka Umunna, a former Liberal Democrat MP, also stated his overwhelming support for the programme and said that: “This is one way for them [the companies involved] to have a real impact on society in the long run and to broaden the talent pool from which they can draw.” The former prime minister and Chuka Umunna both agree that increasing the representation of the black community in all sectors within the UK will have great benefits for the economy.
However, some people are more sceptical. Moni Rosa Serneabat - the president of the University of Glasgow’s Students of Colour Network - has expressed her trepidation about the scheme, telling The Glasgow Guardian: “This programme is a step in the right direction, but I’m concerned about this programme resulting in tokenism and in black interns being used to hit a quota within the companies involved rather than for their skills and qualifications.”