A survey from UK exposes wildly excessive use of unpaid interns in arts, media and even retail, something which has been going on for decades here and is of course now skewing the demographics of those who do eventually get paying jobs in these sectors..
(the only place I think unpaid work experience is tolerable is for a week or two at high school aged <16, not for young adults)
I didn't know this was so wide spread.
When I was an intern (more than 10yrs ago) I was paid minimum wages. When I mentioned to the company's accountant that the conditions where better than in France (at that time the tax system was encouraging to pay less than 300 € a months as above this threshold, taxes would kick in), she replied that it was illegal to pay less than minimal wages in the UK.
Not paying someone for work is just so plainly wrong...
@alfajet it was around 10 years ago HMRC tried to clamp down on the practice, but the economic depression had started then and it was already rife in so called "creative industries" (the BBC and Grauniad even though both claim to be "left" were notorious for using unpaid interns, I think they still use a few but keep the placement times below 1 month
this happens a lot in France.
In fact I had to do a mandatory worker internship in a manufacturing company (automotive) as part of my studies. It was clear that all basic operations in that factory where run by interns during the summer months. I was paid 300€ and considering that the company wasn't paying social taxes on my time, it was a huge saving for them, I'd say probably 80% cheaper than a regular worker.
I learnt a lot and even if it was challenging at start, I remember it as a great experience.
But was was waiting for me when I left was really unexpected. The boss gave a check for "travel expenses" of more than 1000€ in appreciation of my work. Considering that this SME was on a tight budget, that really meant a lot to me.
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