Lately it seems that the debate about whether or not an intern should be paid seems to be increasing. Perhaps it’s because of the press coverage where we learned of an intern’s death being linked to the amount of time that he was working. Generally speaking internships are designed to provide on-the-job training and experience. In our industry event planning internships are crucial to career development. I reached out to some industry colleagues and most feel that if the individual is applying for an internship via an educational institution then the internship should be non-paid. Otherwise, say summer internships for example, they feel that they should be paid internships.
Last year Forbes wrote about a survey that was conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers questioning whether or not internships lead to employment. According to that survey, employment resulting from unpaid internships was 37% and employment for individuals that didn’t do any internships at all was 35%. Students, however, who had completed paid internships were 63% more likely to be employed. Read the full Forbes article here.
Check out These Articles on Internships Do’s and Don’ts:
The Legality of Paid Internships Versus Non-Paid Internships
The US Department of Labor has a six-point criteria that must be met in order for an internship to be unpaid. Those six points are:
- that the training provided is similar to what the individual would receive in a vocational school
- the training is for the benefit of the individual (not the employer)
- the internship does not displace a paid employee
- the employer does not receive immediate advantage from the actions of the individual
- that there is no guarantee of a job upon completion of the internship
- there is a clear understanding between both parties that it is a non-paid internship.
In Canada the laws are a bit gray when it comes to paid internships versus non-paid internships. On top of that each province is responsible for setting labour laws (under which internships apply). In Ontario (Canada’s largest province) unpaid internships are illegal unless the internships are; a) part of a secondary school program, and b) training for specific professions.
Check out These Additional Internship Resources:
- Event Planning Internships – The Job Interview
- How to Earn an Outstanding Internship
- The Ideal Internship