A guide to arts internships

Advice on how to develop high-quality and mutually beneficial employment opportunities. A guide to the legal obligations for arts and cultural organisations offering internships.

Internships in the arts recommends characteristics for a high-quality and successful internship, these include: 

  • An open, transparent and fair recruitment process 
  • Being well planned and based on a wider internship and equal opportunities policy 
  • Offering meaningful experiences and responsibilities that contribute to the aims of the organisation 
  • Paying interns at least national minimum wage.

The guide also highlights the legal obligations for organisations offering internships, including the need for them to ensure that they are operating within the requirements of the National Minimum Wage Act.

Published by Arts Council England and Creative & Cultural Skills, the report reflects the Arts Council’s goal to build a skilled and diverse arts workforce, and considers the issues around the existence of unpaid internships within the arts sector.

While acknowledging the potential implications for arts and cultural organisations in offering better quality internships, it is hoped that organisations will endorse these guidelines and commit to providing high-quality, paid internships that open employment opportunities in the arts to all.


Creative Employment Programme has been launched to help employers create new formal apprenticeship and paid internship opportunities for young unemployed people aged 16-24.

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