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Young Workers Centre YWC
  • An internship is a short term placement for educational purposes
  • An unpaid internship can only be undertaken if you are receiving course credit (towards a degree, diploma, certificate or other qualification)
  • An intern should not be completing the same work as paid employees of the business or company.
  • Interns are not free labour. We cannot stress that enough. If you are doing the same work as an employee (or the work a paid employee should be doing), your host business or organisation may be ripping you off.

Are you an intern? Or just not getting paid?



Unpaid employee

  • Primary goal is for an educational experience: you could be observing how a business works or being taught a skill
  • Free to nominate own hours
  • Short term
  • The intern gets the most benefit from the arrangement



  • Completes productive work
  • Required to work set, consistent hours
  • Completes work that is crucial to the business, such as fulfilling client orders
  • Long term
  • Business gets the most benefit from the arrangement

Click here for a printable version of this information

The law surrounding internships can be confusing. It is important to call the Young Workers Centre in order to get advice specific to your situation before you do anything!