Ben Lyons is Co-Director of Intern Aware, a British-based campaigning organisation that promotes the rights and interests of young people entering the professions.
He established Intern Aware in 2010, after seeing friends face unemployment because they could not afford to work without pay. As youth unemployment has rocketed in Britain, the ability to “intern” without pay has become a necessity in many sectors of the economy. This is harming social mobility, disadvantaging poorer graduates who cannot afford to do work experience without any financial support. It is also reinforcing regional inequality of opportunity as the vast majority of internships are concentrated in London, increasing the costs of accessing this experience for graduates from outside the Greater London area.
Intern Aware works with the British government and MPs with the aim of ensuring the existing minimum wage is enforced to cover interns. It engages closely with business groups, businesses and trade unions to make the positive case for fair internships. Intern Aware regularly appears in the British media. It is also an activist group with campaigners across the country.
Mr. Lyons graduated from St. Catherine’s College, the University of Oxford, in 2011, with a B.A. in History.