Young jobless pay for internships - Sydney Morning Herald

Young job seekers are paying up to $2000 to get work experience as unpaid interns, raising concerns about the potential for exploitation and an unfair playing field for those unable to afford the opportunities

With unemployment among those aged 15 to 19 hitting 20 per cent last week, its highest level in two decades, the need for work experience has become more crucial than ever in getting a job.

Executive director of Interns Australia Adi Prasad said he was concerned about a growing market in the provision of costly internships to help young job seekers "get a foot in the door". 

"It creates an inequality of opportunity whereby only those who can afford that sort of money to pay the middle man can get that opportunity," he said. "It should be an opportunity people from all socio-economic backgrounds can attain."

"An internship can be a fantastic opportunity for an individual to get experience, gain new skills and form new networks, but it cannot be an excuse for an employer to get what amounts to free and cheap labour."

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