Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 7th July 2011.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Conservative, Harlow 11:34 am, 7th July 2011

Has my hon. Friend seen early-day motion 2037 about the disgraceful decision by Diva magazine to rescind a work placement that they had originally offered to Harlow college student Simone Webb on the grounds that she was not rich enough to afford her bus fare and did not have independent means?

[That this House notes that Simone Webb is a 17 year old Harlow College student hoping to study at Oxford University; further notes that she was offered a one month unpaid internship at DIVA magazine, but was later refused on the grounds that she hoped to be reimbursed just £5 transport expenses a day, and was told that DIVA was ‘uncomfortable’ offering her an internship as she was ‘so young and without an independent budget of [her] own’; believes that barriers of this kind are a major threat to social mobility and that this is an outrageous example of internships being abused; and calls for DIVA magazine to pay reasonable transport expenses where it can, and to drop its discriminatory policy of refusing to employ people who lack ‘an independent budget’.]

May we have an urgent debate on social mobility to ensure that work experience and internships are available to the many, not the few?