In spite of rorting of internship programs, they’re still worthwhile

In Australia, interns seldom get money. College students and potential workers undergoes internship to hone their knowledge in a specific field to have their desired profession.

Issues occur, nevertheless, when the internship becomes less about skilling and more about free work. However, a case currently before the Federal Circuit Court concerning two young reporters and sports broadcaster Crocmedia is about that. Crocmedia has to compensate the previous salary for the apprentice and might deal with charge for breaking the regulated “internship” system for it entails working night shifts for 7 days out of ten, for six months without salary.

You can hear many similar cases related to companies who take advantage on their interns. The temptation of free labour, and a youthful and eager mind to complete all the works paid employees don’t want to do, is too great. In accordance with facts conducted by a few researchers shows that college students who underwent internship has a big chance to get employed, in the current state of youth unemployment and graduate under/unemployment, mainly those belongs to the younger generation are desperate to get hired whatever it takes.

What exactly is an internship and what exactly is free labor?

The backlash against internships commenced in America where media company Conde Nast has just been made to backpay millions to previous interns. It is likely to expand here as a growing number of companies engage interns.

Professor Rosemary Owens along with Andrew Stewart from University of Adelaide Law School, has been working for countless years with the Fair Work Ombudsman in examining the implementation of apprenticeship in Australia. He says there’s a crucial distinction about the kind of internship approved by the Fair Work Ombudsman: is it part of formal education?

There are businesses which accept interns and give appropriate training – and there are businesses which organise their labour needs around a reliance on unpaid interns.

Moreover, Professor Stewart emphasized that it’s those businesses who engage interns in their business are the firms who are charged and are at stake to be taken into court by the Fair Work Ombudsman. However, when the internship is part of the course, this will never be a problem.

Good Internship is Worthwhile

The most fascinating and valuable internship programs I dealt with being a journalist educator was when I had the chance to be a part of a program operated by the former editor of Punch, Tory Maguire. Tory Maguire needs interns requirements that are the same of what he requires to people who will make application for a real job and these includes resume and also cover letter. Maguire was filled with job applicants, even though each of the senior journalism students knew the work will be unpaid.

The Punch was a News Ltd publication and it was avowedly well-known, mainly on trend, and a top notch training ground for young adults who desired to go into mainstream online news. Maguire ran a great ship – she anticipated people to turn up promptly, complete tasks, have ideas and be faithful to the organization.

In exchange, Maguire provides the intern a reviews with regards to their performance. She gave the school feedbacks. She see to it that she has time to fetch the students from class to the office. Moreover, she also takes some time visiting the classroom to do discussions regarding insights and ideas.

The program will take around 8 weeks, nothing more nothing less. The great thing is that all the interns of The Punch gains a lot of skills and knowledge in the course of the program. Majority of them obtained acknowledgements. Others got part-time works. Some full-time jobs. Then again, there are a few who realized that journalism is not their calling.

An marketing student internships Melbourne under the supervision of a competent and seasoned editor which results in a paid employment is the goal of every journalism educators. This is the main reason why I share this story. If those interns hadn’t appeared, The Punch would still have been published every day.

Andrew Stewart called me to conduct a final survey to UTS journalism students in 2011 who takes the two part of their degrees as part of the investigation for the Fair Work Ombudsman. He highlights one of our students in his investigation.

I wouldn’t be where I am today (in an industry I like, working for one of the most known businesses in the field) without having interned first. The importance of work experience is usually undervalued by individuals with sense of entitlement.

In line with the result of his research, 100% think about taking the industry placements to know more about the business while 66 % go on to paid work as a result of those placements.

These things are not mutually exclusive – you can teach students all the theories in this world, but there’s no point if they can’t recognise situations which they should be applied.

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