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Landing a job in British Television would be considered by most to be a real prize. The industry has long since been associated with decent wages, prestige, and glamour. It’s no surprise then that thousands of young people compete to get into the industry each year. But the industry is hiding a dirty secret. Many of these young applicants, who have often gone to great effort and expense to gain media degrees, are given their first job in the industry paying them… wait for it… £0.00. That’s right. Nothing!
Over the past decade, as budgets have shrunk in an ever more competitive market, privately owned production companies, collectively known as the independent sector, have been cheating applicants into accepting unpaid ‘work experience’ positions. Lured by the shallow promise of ‘promotion’ later down the line, ‘work experiencers’ are often held for many months before being offered paid work. In many cases companies never offer them pay at all.