The government's proposed National Internship Scheme is unlikely to brighten the entry-level financial jobs market too much: most investment banking graduate recruiters we spoke to are giving it a fairly lukewarm reception.
For those out of the loop, National Internship scheme is a UK government initiative to give some hope to the legions of unemployed graduates expected from the class of 2009.
It's intended to take on 18-24 year-olds for three months, offering a very modest salary (ie, only slightly higher than the income gained from grants and loans), with the idea being that the work experience would ultimately make you more employable.
So far, the only bank linked with the proposed scheme is Barclays. However, the statement we wangled out of them talked of its "long and established" internship practice and how it would "look forward to exploring how any government initiative can be integrated with our own programmes."
Other banks are less keen. One head of graduate recruitment at an investment bank told us: "We're recruiting both interns and analysts in smaller numbers than previous years. It would therefore be difficult for us to justify opening up more places in conjunction with the government."
It also takes away the main incentive for doing an i-banking internship, says another: "Work experience is all very well, but with no prospects of the internship being converted into full-time position, it's not very encouraging - you need something to aim for."