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The strength and conditioning (S&C) industry within the UK has seen an unprecedented growth in the last 10–15 years. More jobs exist than ever (figure 1), and the profession is held in increasingly higher regard by those looking to enhance athletic performance. This growth has been accompanied by a substantial rise in those seeking professional accreditation; this reflected by an increase in UK S&C accredited coaches doubling from ~400 in 2011 to ~800 in 2017. Consequently, the growing interest in S&C has also seen a dramatic increase in internships,1 many of which have been advertised as unpaid.
Whether unpaid internships are legal or not is ambiguous. The government (HM Revenue and Customs in UK) website states that: ‘An intern’s rights depend on their employment status. If an intern is classed as a worker, then they’re normally due the National Minimum Wage’. The definition of a ‘worker’ indicates that a contract is exchanged between the two parties involved. However, if an applicant accepts …
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