Fresh out of university and six months into a fruitless job search, I accepted an unpaid six week internship under the impression that it would lead to a paid, full-time position at the same company or some serious resume ammunition.
My situation ended exceptionally poorly. As it turned out, the company wasn’t paying me because they didn’t want to – rather, they weren’t paying me because they couldn’t afford to pay anyone. Regardless of why, the bottom line is that no one was paying my bills or repaying my student debt.
Unfortunately, companies like these are out there, preying on young people struggling to get a toehold in a tight labour market. Anyone who has job hunted in recent years knows just how stressful that process is, especially for those of us lacking experience.
That’s why I feel betrayed by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s recent comments that my peers and I should seek to bridge the experience gap through unpaid work…
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Gen Y money: Memoirs of an unpaid intern (and why Poloz’s comments sting) – The Globe and Mail.
Canada – Having something unpaid on your CV is very worth it says Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz
Labour lawyers and economists are criticizing Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz over comments he made suggesting that youth work for free in order to avoid the “scarring” of long-term joblessness. Poloz cited the problem of graduates living in their parents’ basements, unable to find work. “The longer it takes for a jobless youth to … Continue reading
After years of official silence on the employment issues faced by young adults, the comments by both Mr. Poloz and Mr. Oliver represent progress. Finally, the issue has pushed its way into a political culture that has endless time for families and seniors, but never mentions young adults. Now, the question is how to keep … Continue reading
Preliminary findings from an upcoming study on internships in Canada show that the majority of interns are young women who make less than the provincial minimum wage — if they’re paid at all. The study, to be released soon by two researchers at the University of Victoria and the Canadian Intern Association, is aimed at … Continue reading
Students in China are reportedly being forced to assemble Sony’s forthcoming Playstation 4 or risk failing their course Continue reading
When Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront Hotel posted an ad for unpaid interns to work busing tables in its dining room, it quickly set off a firestorm in social media — and an uneasy silence elsewhere Continue reading
Though the laws are clear, employers in competitive, creative fields have ignored them. As the ranks of the unemployed have swelled and the surplus of jobless college students and grads has grown, increasing numbers of people young and old have been signing on for unpaid internships, wanting to make contacts and accumulate résumé lines that … Continue reading
More auditors in Hong Kong can expect to be taking extra-long holidays, courtesy of the city’s sluggish IPO market. This week, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that to help avoid layoffs, employees in mainland China and Hong Kong will be offered a chance to take an additional 12 days’ holiday in the coming months, of which … Continue reading
Spain’s safety net frays as care workers go unpaid | Reuters Reteurs: Mercedes Garcia, the director of a residency for severely mentally disabled adults, has a crisis in her kitchen. Two caterers have been supplying and preparing food for the centre’s 46 patients for free for almost a year; the other 18 recently decided they’d had … Continue reading
AS ANY middle-class parent knows, unpaid work experience can give youngsters a valuable introduction to a secure job. The coalition government has recognised it too, scrapping rules in 2011 that had formerly stopped 16- to 24-year-olds from doing unpaid work while claiming unemployment benefit. But moving from that to forcing them to work gratis in … Continue reading
Boots says it is withdrawing from the government’s scheme to help the long-term unemployed find work. It comes on the same day that ministers had to drop sanctions from a separate scheme that offers work experience to younger jobseekers. Boots said that it would no longer be offering any new placements on the work programme, … Continue reading
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is warning that recent headlines, which associate voluntary unpaid work experience with slave labour, are in danger of discouraging employers from offering placements and denying young people a route into permanent employment. Good quality work experience provides an invaluable way for young people to build key skills … Continue reading
I was relatively lucky when I graduated. I only worked unpaid for around six weeks – four weeks at a think tank and two weeks here – before a newspaper started paying me to write. Lucky, because that was near enough as long as I could afford to stay in London. Had I been forced … Continue reading