Sydney coworking community Tank Stream Labs has partnered with edutech startup Austern International to connect its resident companies to eager young talent for paid internships.
InternMe allows companies to post targeted roles and then track the progress of the intern with the goal to stop the cycle of needing experience to get experience.
Unpaid internships may be legal in Australia, but exploiting interns is not. Sydney-based entrepreneur Marnie Shanahan has recently launched an online job board The New Kid for young Australians looking to be placed into ethical internship programmes.
Over the last few years as our startup ecosystem has grown, it has become common practice for startups facing financial constraints to ‘offer’ unpaid internship opportunities to more often than not younger aged people. A lot of the time these ‘internships’ are built on the hope that it will lead to a paid job in the company, or at the very least give the incumbent ‘free worker’ some really great exposure on what it is really like to work at a startup.
We need to avoid the disaster US startups are facing when it comes to employment lawsuits; and the best way to do this is by not following their lead. Doing so is dangerous, and could end up costing you your dreams.
… This has wide-ranging implications for people in business – especially start-ups who may be thinking “I only have a small handful of employees / contractors / interns, bullying just wont happen in my business”.
A common theme with start-ups is the hunt for cheap (read: free) labour – and with a pool of eager-beaver workers (read: students looking for a CV-booster) putting their hand up to work for peanuts, it is very tempting for over-worked founders to get some “interns” to share the load.
It is becoming a trend in the startup scene to “get an intern” – but there is a definite misconception out there between someone working for free and an internship, which by definition is basically an educational program in which majority of the benefit should go to the intern NOT the company they are working for.