Journalism, media, fashion, entertainment and the arts are industries where unpaid internships are rife. In recognition of the need for clear guidelines on internships for job seekers and students in these fields, Interns Australia partnered with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance to publish the first guidelines for interns and employers.
With youth unemployment more than double the rate of the general population, more and more young people are engaging in unpaid work in the hope of making the transition into paid employment. Raising awareness of unpaid work is part of the conversation, but addressing unemployment and finding solutions that support young people into paid work is another.
Do We Need to Rethink Internships, to Ensure Millennials Get Off to a Good Economic Start? - Catalogue Magazine
Catalogue Magazine recently published an article on the need to rethink internships, particularly those that are unpaid. The article highlights that 60% of interns surveyed (in our 2015 annual survey) were working for free or not gaining any course credit at all - which is illegal under Australia's Fair Work Act. It then goes on to point out that only one in five of those interns are actually hired by those companies, and that unpaid work experience doesn't carry the same weight on resumes as it used to.
Image: photography by Robbie Spencer for Dazed Digital.Read more
IA's co-founder Colleen Chen recently interviewed Jenny Lambert (Director, Employment Education and Training) from the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) on the topic of "job ready" graduates, Work-Integrated Learning, and internships.
Lambert touched on encouraging employers to abide by the Fair Work Ombudsman guidelines and expresses a lack of excitement about third party internship providers. She also acknowledges that there is currently no avenue for measuring the effectiveness of Work-Integrated Learning.
View the full transcript below.Read more
A February article in the Guardian has covered the launch of the Young Workers Centre - a new unit created by the Victorian Trades Hall Council with the purpose to “[empower] young people to defend themselves and their co-workers against exploitation".
The article quotes Interns Australia's secretary, Colleen Chen, stating "the centre’s legal assistance and rights education was important given young workers are increasingly undertaking informal work arrangements, including unpaid internships, as part of their first work experience."
Young Workers Centre says its purpose is to help young people ‘defend themselves against exploitation of the kind recently exposed at 7-Eleven, Pizza Hut and on some Victorian farms’. Photograph: Shannon Morris/AAPRead more
The Monthly's article "The Boomer Supremacy" looks into how the dynamics of Australian lifestyle has changed across generations - including the growing prevalence of unpaid internships, stating "In some fields [...] businesses simply cycle through internships, effectively running whole departments with no salaries."Read more
Earlier this month the Federal Circuit Court fined a director of a company for underpaying her interns, and for misrepresenting the nature of the interns' employment.
The irony in this case: that same director had previously run a blog telling employers to "say 'no' to douche-bag internships" and "stop the free labour and treating interns like crap!" - she went on to underpay a graphic design intern by $5,114, a multimedia intern by $3,952 and a reception/marketing assistant intern by $1,118.Read more
Young Australians slogging through unpaid internships are sacrificing $6000 in wages and working an average of nine weeks without pay.Read more