HALLIBURTON STUNS YOUNG JOB-SEEKERS WITH ADVERT FOR WAGE-FREE ROLE
* GRADUATE FOG EXCLUSIVE *
* OOH! OUR STORY PICKED UP BY THE GUARDIAN! *
One of the world’s biggest oil giants has shocked the UK’s young job-seekers by advertising a full-time unpaid internship at its London headquarters.
American firm Halliburton – worth billions and best known to many for profiting from the Iraq War, and its links to the Bush administration via its former CEO Dick Cheney – posted the advert on its own website earlier this week. The (badly written) job spec states:
We are looking for the right people – people who want to innovate, achieve, grow and lead. We attract and retain the best talent by investing in our employees and empowering them to develop themselves and their careers. Experience the challenges, rewards and opportunity of working for one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the global energy industry.
Entry level for professional work. Performs assignments designed to develop professional or technical work knowledge and abilities requiring application of standard techniques, procedures, and criteria in carrying out a sequence of related tasks. Limited exercise of judgment is required on details of work and in making preliminary selections and adaptations of alternatives. This classification is used for employees performing a designated function for an identified duration. May include continuing education.
Halliburton is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
This is an unpaid work experience programme.
Building 4, Chiswick Park, London, London, W4 5YA, United Kingdom
Requisition Number: 41069
Experience Level: Entry-Level
Job Family: Support Services
Product Service Line: Consulting & Project Mgmt
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Here is a screen shot of the advert (click to enlarge):
We wrote to the firm to question this Halliburton internship:
To: Halliburton Press Office
From: Graduate Fog
Date: 16.43pm, Wednesday 31 May 2017
Subject: Press enquiry – Unpaid internship at Halliburton
I run the UK careers advice website Graduate Fog.
One of my readers has drawn my attention to a full-time, unpaid internship you are currently offering at Halliburton’s UK office in Chiswick, West London.
Although the advert states this is “an unpaid work experience programme” the role description appears to be that of a proper junior job.
Please can you explain:
1) How Halliburton feels this opportunity fits with the UK’s minimum wage law?
2) How Halliburton can simultaneously claim to be “an Equal Opportunity Employer” while failing to pay a wage to this full-time employee?
I would very much appreciate a swift response.
Tanya de Grunwald
Founder, Graduate Fog
Halliburton replied with this statement, appearing to claim this internship is a student placement:
“Halliburton provides some unpaid internship opportunities to college students in an effort to provide practical work experience which can be used to achieve higher qualification and obtain employment within the industry when students graduate.
“During the internships, students work on projects that can be used in dissertations and studies that are essential to graduate.Halliburton also has a paid internship program across all areas of its global organization.”
Hmm. To be honest, we weren’t very impressed – and we feel a number of sticking points remain:
1) Halliburton is worth billions – they can more than afford to pay their interns The Living Wage for what sounds like proper skilled work.
2) We remain unclear how Halliburton can claim to be an “Equal Opportunity Employer” while failing to pay this intern a wage. Without offering a salary, Halliburton has ensured this position is available only to the tiny minority of young people who have significant financial support from their family. In 2017, it just isn’t right or reasonable to ask young people to work for free, full-time, indefinitely. Especially if the employer is one of the world’s biggest oil companies…
3) If this really is a student placement, it should be labelled as such, with a clear start and end date, and it should be promoted via universities who can ensure it meets the requirements for being acceptable course credit. You can’t just call something a student placement to justify the fact a lack of salary.
4) This advert is a timely reminder that although most big businesses have cleaned up their act on unpaid internships, there are still too many around.
On that final point, we know that the Social Mobility Commission will shortly make strong recommendations to Matthew Taylor for the Taylor Report on Employment Practices in the Modern Economy, and we expect to see those recommendations put into action, including desperately needed improvements to the reporting process, and much tougher penalties for employers who fail to pay their young staff a fair wage for their work. Young people have waited long enough for the Government to take action on internships. Enough is enough.
*WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS HALLIBURTON UNPAID INTERNSHIP?
Have your say below…