RECORD LABEL ADVERTISES 20 POSITIONS AT £15,000 A YEAR
Has Sony learnt its lesson after being caught using unpaid interns and paying out £4,600 in unpaid wages to a graduate intern last year?
The brand’s record label arm Sony Music is currently advertising 20 paid 12-month internships on GoThinkBig, the careers website that’s funded by mobile phone provider O2 and run in partnership with Bauer Media (which owns Grazia, FHM and Absolute Radio). The salary offered? An impressive £15,000 a year. Here is the advert:
Former intern Chris Jarvis received a sizeable payout from the company in September 2013 after taking an internship at Sony Computer Entertainment as a “3D Artist Environment intern” for three months in 2012. He expected the role to involve work shadowing, but found himself working from 9.30am to 6pm testing 3D artwork for games.
Chris, who has a first class degree in Games Art and Design from Norwich University, “politely informed” the company that they owed him at least minimum wage of £6.19 (as it was at the time of the internship), considering he was effectively working as a full-time employee.
But he said, “They were very dismissive and told me I was a volunteer and that’s how I could work for free,” so he made an official complaint via HMRC’s Pay and Work Rights Helpline. Chris’s case went to tribunal, but Sony paid out before the case was heard. At the time, Sony declined to comment – but Graduate Fog is hopeful that these 20 new, paid internships are a sign that the company’s attitude towards its interns could be changing at last. As one of the biggest brands in the UK music industry, Sony should lead the way on fair pay for young workers.
*IS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY CLEANING UP ITS ACT ON INTERNS?
Are you surprised to see 20 paid internships at a record label? Are unpaid internships still common within the music industry, or are they increasingly rare? Do the big record labels have a responsibility to set higher standards for the industry as a whole? If you’ve ever interned for a music company, what was it like – and did it lead to paid work?