An MP who sits on a newly created youth unemployment taskforce has been slammed by campaigners after advertising for an unpaid intern during the group's launch.
Mike Weatherley, who has represented Hove and Portslade since 2010, posted an advertisement on the website Work4MP looking for an unpaid intern to work in his Westminster office for up to three days per week.
The Conservative MP, who is a member of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on youth unemployment which launched on 5 March, was looking for the intern to draft policy letters, carry out research and conduct general office admin.
The advertisement carried a note explaining that the role would be voluntary and therefore "there are no set hours and responsibilities and you should be free to come and go as you wish."
But Gus Baker, co-founder of the campaign group Intern Aware, told IBTimes UK that Weatherley "should know better".
"Unpaid internships are a major cause of youth unemployment as people aren't being paid for the work they are doing," Baker said.
"As someone on the APPG for youth unemployment, Weatherely should know better and should be helping create work for young people, rather than asking them to work without pay."
John Leech, another MP on the youth unemployment taskforce, was criticised late last year after advertising for two unpaid interns.
But the Liberal Democrat told the Manchester Evening News that there was not enough money to pay the interns.
"In an ideal world we would be able to pay interns, but because of budgetary constraints this isn't possible," Leech said.
"If we had to pay interns, we wouldn't be able to take anybody on."
There are more than 900,000 young people out of work in the UK, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also recently disclosed that the country's unemployment rate for 16 to 24-year-olds slightly dipped to 19.9%.
Labour MP Pamela Nash, chairwoman of the APPG on youth unemployment, had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
Mike Weatherley MP had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.