The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned that some private firms are taking advantage of interns and called on the government to ensure they are paid a training wage.

According to the HR body, giving interns a fair financial reward for their time and effort would boost British productivity and failing to pay wages lends an unfair advantage to youngsters from well-off backgrounds.

“The government wants to foster a strong, private sector-led economic recovery, but we have yet to see a coherent strategy for economic growth,” said CIPD chief economic adviser John Philpott. “The coalition needs to show greater urgency.”

In addition, the CIPD urged the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to give all employees the right to request flexible working, changing the face of people management to help UK companies keep pace with overseas rivals.

Entrepreneurs looking for advice on how to build strong relationships with their workforce could benefit from participating in the Employee Engagement Summit 2011, which will be held at London’s Canary Wharf in March.

Posted by Ross George