Young people are vulnerable and the serious social issues of equity and access surrounding unpaid internships cannot be ignored. The bottom line is that regardless of how legal, beneficial, or short-term unpaid internships may be, many young people simply cannot afford to work for free. Unfortunately, this sees them excluded, without options and behind the eight ball even before they’ve graduated. I am fully aware that I was extremely lucky to have been able to live at home in Sydney with supportive parents who had food on the table for me every night while I studied and undertook unpaid internships, however this is not the reality for everyone.
Some companies are doing the right thing without recognition, some are blatantly taking advantage and capitalising on the exploitation of interns, and some are just completely unaware of the facts. Some young people are undertaking brilliant legal internships, some know they are being exploited but don’t know what to do about it, and some are just completely unaware of the facts. This is the convoluted reality of the situation.
I strongly believe there is an undeniable correlation between youth underemployment/unemployment and the rise in illegal, exploitative internships that are replacing entry-level positions for young people in Australia.
Lets put an end to this growing trend and make a proactive commitment towards helping The New Kids.