Given that over 60% of our audience are under 30 years old, many of you will have experience with internships. That experience won’t always have been pleasant (or even useful professionally).

A recent Eurobarometer survey (PDF) of 18-35 year-olds, found that 46% had completed at least one internship. Unpaid internships seem to be the norm, with almost six out of ten (59%) respondents not receiving any financial compensation. Even among those who were paid, less than half (46%) said this was sufficient to cover basic living costs.

Should unpaid internships be banned? Even superheroes are condemning unpaid internships, with Captain Europe weighing in recently to argue for quality traineeships:

Not everybody agrees, however. We had a comment sent in from Catherine arguing that interns should accept that they are gaining valuable experience for free:

citizen_icon_180x180Graduates should be eternally grateful for the benefit of an internship. They have no experience in the real world and, until they know what they are doing, they are often a liability rather than an asset. It is costly to take on an unproductive individual in a financial downturn. It can be the difference between make or break. So, accept the idea for what it is: an opportunity to learn for free

To get a reaction to Catherine’s comment, we spoke to Johanna Nyman, then President of the European Youth Forum. How would she respond?

johanna_nymanWell, I would disagree with your opinion on this, Catherine. I think that young people have the right to be treated the same way as other people… In today’s society, we see a little bit of a trend where young people are blamed for a lot of problems. Young people are seen as a huge burden, for example, when it comes to unemployment. I don’t support this attitude, and when it comes to internships it’s crucial that you should get remuneration for the work you are doing because working for free should not be an option for anybody, anywhere.

To get another perspective, we also spoke to Tamás Várnai, an expert on youth unemployment at the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. He was slightly more sympathetic to Catherine’s argument, but only to a point:

varnaiSo, what Catherine is arguing is that the company has to invest a lot into the new intern, and this is true. It’s true probably for the first month or so while the trainee or intern is very new to the position and has to learn a lot of things. But, after a while, when the trainee’s productivity increases, then I think that the trainee should be rewarded for his or her work.

A good example of this is the new German minimum wage law, which also applies for trainees. The way the Germans solved the problem is that for traineeships less than three months there is no requirement for pay, but for traineeships longer than three months the minimum wage rules apply. So, their thinking is also following the logic that, after a certain amount of time, the productivity of an intern is already at a higher level and so the trainee should receive some remuneration.

But should the whole system of internships be abolished? We had a comment from Marie, who argued that internships amount to exploitation and abuse of workers:

citizen_icon_180x180Lots of companies use interns instead of hiring someone and pay them nothing, or next to nothing. And internships are not seen as a true professional experience, so interns are abused. This system should be replaced by incentives for companies to hire young people (such as tax deductions) instead of taking on an intern for six months.

What would Johanna Nyman, then President of the European Youth Forum, say about Marie’s comment?

johanna_nymanWell, I absolutely agree with the first part of Marie’s comment. It’s unacceptable for so many companies in Europe today to be using interns as a replacement for real positions in the workplace. Then, of course, the question is how to make sure this practice stops. I think that internships are a very valuable way to get experience about how the labour market works, or what it is like to have a specific job, but it’s important that it is a learning experience and that there is proper remuneration for the work you are doing as an intern.

Finally, we put the same question to Tamás Várnai from the Commission. What would be his reaction?

varnaiYes, the Commission is also aware that very often traineeships are abusive. In many cases, young people are used as a cheap (or even free) labour force. We surveyed Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and asked them about their objectives with internships. Why do they hire trainees? And, actually, 11% were honest enough to say that it’s about cheap labour for them, which I was surprised about. So, this is a real issue.

So, what is the solution? The Commission does advocate incentivising hiring young people under the Youth Guarantee, and such hiring incentives do exist in Europe. Of course, it’s mostly the Member States who have to decide about these things, but we do advocate for it. But, on the other hand, job creation is mostly a task of the economy, so I think it’s economic recovery that would lead to jobs.

Should unpaid internships be banned across the EU? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions!

FULL DISCLOSURE: Debating Europe does have (absolutely wonderful) interns working for us – and we do pay them!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Joel Gillman

721 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Oli Lau

    that’s the case in the UN in Vienna. There use plenty of unpaid internships. They play their desire to join the UN.

    • avatar

      Its also the case at the commission or at delegation of the European Union :)
      Where unpaid internships are practiced !
      I Loved my internship though and agreed to the terms of the contract, but it is pretty unfair for the one that cannot afford to live on parents money for 3 months.

  2. avatar
    Ivan Vikalo

    problem is that the amount of internships could go down, and considering that you need 1-2 years of work experience, then it is really hard to get there with absolutely no work experience while the internship can give you some. Of course, if you cant pay, then you cant do the internship anyway, but it is a fine balance that is important to weigh out when finally deciding. Principally I am for, but the question is how will this affect the amount of internships available?

    • avatar
      Ion Virtaci

      yup. totally agree. most likely the total amount of internships will decrease.

  3. avatar
    Gio Dimitriadis

    they should at least cover living costs, many abuse the unpaid internship and just use young people doing 3month or 6month shifts working for free.

    • avatar
      Gabriele Fabozzi

      Living cost is the point!

  4. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    In my day if you worked then you got paid….. otherwise you were either a student or a slave. So what is an intern? A student or a slave?

    • avatar

      A student gaining working experience, maybe?… which then will help him land a job in the near future easier than having no experience at all?…

    • avatar

      Depends on the company. I’ve been both.

  5. avatar
    Tamás Csiszár

    Internship is an illusion, employing interns is at least as big crime as tax evasion. But since we have Juncker, and EPP’s in power, things won’t change and they serve bank and corporate interest (TTIP).
    All kind of work needs to be respected and fairly payed – and let’s be honest, most of the office jobs does not require huge experience only common sense, and the ability to learn it quickly.

    • avatar
      Chalks Corriette

      All companies and organizations had people that joined young, were given a role in the organization that they grew into, learning and taking other external courses to improve skills. With better skills, the young individual would rise through the organization earning better salary and benfits along the way. If/when people left, they took the skills and experience with them and this was the routine of business and work. Young people came in, we paid them something to allow them to live, we trained and supported them and so on…. It seems that these days we want to forget the training part teh company used to take care of, and have folks that hit the ground running. And I guess the only way to do that – is via some kind of learning period that young people take responsibility for in time and money.

      It does seem a real shame, as I fear we loose something – despite the fact that I do understand that the bottom line – is money. We seem unable (or un-willing) to pay young people durnig the learning years, because it is a cost that we, as a business have to cover. In these days of austerity – how do we deal with that? Does the business go out of business because it does not use interns, or does it carry on regardless, offering those that want it and can afford to, the opportunity. It is a European issue for all member states to agree a basic set of guidelines for the current era in which we live, work and play. Good luck on sorting that out…..

  6. avatar
    Ulf Skei

    Difficult. At times I guess abuse is possible but at the same time experience is important to get into the market.

  7. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Banned is the wrong word! Monitored, regulated, be subject to similar laws as paid employment, yes, to avoid abusers. How do people expect a young adult to work for 1 – 2 years without pay?

  8. avatar

    Also governments use unpaid interns… It’s not just a matter of companies (or NGO’s) trying to get around social responsibility, it has become a system of employment for students and young graduates in some sectors. One could choose not to accept anything unpaid, but how real is your choice when experience stands out as a selection criterion for paid jobs?

  9. avatar
    Kostina Prifti

    The problem with the law in Germany for internships that can last a maximum of 3 months without a remuneration (the same law applies to Albania), is that what the companies usually end up doing – in order to have free labour force – is change interns every 3 months and end up not paying anyone. Also, the work that the interns do is a problem with internships, because usually it is very unprofessional and subsequently not worth it.
    I believe every intern should be payed for the work he/she does because not only is this fair, but it would make the system function better at every level, and the interns – because they would get payed – would be given much more difficult – and ergo, more valuable – job description.

    • avatar
      asoki sak

      Slavery is banned, murders too, stealing too, destroying property too…

      Don’t you think that banning something, does indeed limit it extend?

  10. avatar
    Alen Zekovic

    Definately, I had such a bad experience in UNDP , where entire office thought they got a personal slave for the most stupid tasks.. Although I have 2 masters they didn’t give me even a chance to learn something more, get involved and get experience ..

  11. avatar
    Ivan Vikalo

    My internship experience is amazing and i do very relevant things.. But the un is the worst internship giver which basically live off its name/reputation. I think the idea of covering living expenses is more than fine, maybe except food expenses as that is a fluctuating expense and hard to predict

  12. avatar
    Ferenc Lázár

    It is nonsense that some multinationals hire young people and they don’t pay any wages, taxes etc. It should be banned definitely and the minimum wage should apply! This is one of the reasons why the unemployment became so high in Europe, because the companies filling up the work positions called “trainee’s “.

  13. avatar
    Toni Muñiz

    Yes. Many take advantage and rotate interns as to not hire someone. I did my internship, but it was temporary (3 months)and with an agreement to be hired if I achieved all specified goals. But what is done now, at least in Spain, it is absolute abuse.

    • avatar
      Slava Dejura

      In Portugal is the same!

  14. avatar
    Edmond Dantès de Saint-Just

    of course no!I think, even the first 6 months of your first job in Brussels should be unpaid!May be, we should consider the idea to pay the employers for a traineeship.That is a good idea!

    • avatar

      You are right! We should organise internship auctions so that trainees can outbid others for an internship. The trainee that spends more money would then be granted the honor of working for free. ;)

  15. avatar
    Manjinder S Chauhan

    The students need to be paid, not just as a source of motivation but to look upon the organisation to stay and work for.

  16. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    If you want to get experience you need to get an internship nowadays. But if you are poor or of an older age and want to change profession, with a mortgage or a family, it is impossible to survive on one. Internships are nothing new, in the old days you did not went to a university, you asked a smith to take you in his business and teach you his profession. But he paid you something. And that is how it should be. Free internships are a slave labour. Very convenient to companies to make more profit and squeeze people’s work and effort for nothing. There should be low paid internships instead!

    • avatar

      I agree with you.
      Ethically, the main problem with unpaid internships is that it creates discrimination. Unpaid internships discriminate young professionals that can’t afford a good living standard while they work for free during 3 to 6 months far away from home.
      As a result, only the young professionals that can count on the support of their family can actually afford to work for free or for 300 to 500€ that can be considered like pocket money if you look at the cost of living in Brussels.

  17. avatar
    Eugenia Serban

    Of course they should be banned. It’s a law that allows companies to exploite people. Especially young persons who can not claim their rights .

  18. avatar
    Linø Både

    Definitely agree. Unpaid internship and demanded experience are inadmissible. And how many internships do I have to do to find a job out?

  19. avatar
    João Antunes

    Oh yes. People are working hard, making an effort for the firm’s success why the hell should they work for free?

  20. avatar

    Exploiting the young people’s need for employment through unpaid internships is both morally and professionally wrong. It is absolutely erroneous and pathetic to transform the need for employment into a given “privilege”. The commission should either prevent that or at least regulate it since it has a saying on this matter bow. To be fair, the commission provides paid internships but that only makes the commission more responsible towards other internships. I understand this kind of regulation could be a rather a national matter but establishing a European Youth Forum makes it a supranational one to some extent.

  21. avatar
    Hani Abdo

    I wouldn’t say banned, but rather regulated. Exploiting the young people?s need for employment through unpaid internships is both morally and professionally wrong. It is absolutely erroneous and pathetic to transform the need for employment into a given ?privilege?. The commission should at least regulate it since it has a saying on this matter now. To be fair, the commission provides paid internships but that only makes the commission more responsible towards other internships. I understand this kind of regulation could be a rather a national matter but establishing a European Youth Forum makes it a supranational matter to some extent.

  22. avatar
    Lefteris Eleftheriou

    Unpaid internships should be banned. Isnt it unnfair to work for nothing? Often interns actually work harder to impress their boss but still dont get paid because the organisation they work for prefers to shove all their money in the pockets of the general secretary/CEO/president/GM. If you want a well qualified intern that is simply unfortunate enough not to have previous experience simply pay the minimum wage. Especially if you are expecting them to relocate for the internship!!!

  23. avatar
    Sylwester Malanowski

    The Europen partnerschip with United States takes a good reson for a Civil Rights and a freedom of a democratic states

  24. avatar
    Ana Fernandes

    The problem goes far beyond the private sector. I have lost count on how many adds I have seen from public institutions that pay nothing or a ridiculous amount to their interns but I believe the number rounds the amount of times I have heard the comment “we have so much work – we should get another stagiaire”.

    Making the general comment that someone with none/little experience is unable to perform a high quality service equals the general comment that someone with plenty is outdated or accommodated. Both arguments worth a damn – and are dangerous.

    This is a problem that affects several spheres: the increment of a sustainable economy; of an healthy society and basic respect for personal development and dignity.

  25. avatar
    La Fed Ham

    Unpaid interns and youth are just evil forms of modern inequality. All work should be paid work and the same pay for the same job

  26. avatar
    Christina Stockinger

    any kind of work which is not explicitly done for free and out of free will, should certainly be well paid, if we agree that slavery is abolished…

  27. avatar
    Wim van Vugt

    An internment can be a necessary part of an education. But school or university should not allow an internment in a company without a well-described research plan that the student is going to perform and about which he/she must write a research report to be submitted to both the company and the school for evaluation.
    The work the student is doing during this interment may never be the work a regular employee would do during the 6-month internment period in order to avoid being used as a cheap “slave”, and the student must be granted a little compensation for living and/or travel (?300-500 per month) which is not a “minimum wage” (otherwise he can be ordered to do regular work instead of research).

    If these conditions are not fulfilled the internment should not be allowed and recognised. In my case, Chemical Engineering in Utrecht, NL, the research project must be submitted beforehand to an expert within the education of Chemical Engineering to be judged if the work isn’t routine work but a real research project of enough depth and level, both in theoretical as in practical sense and in line with the kind of education of the student.

  28. avatar

    Yes, they should be banned, definitely. Any unpaid work is slavery, unless you are a student or doing a charity work.

  29. avatar
    Laura Botti

    Since, in concrete, internships are often used to have labour for free, the answer is “yes”. Just look straight in the face of everyday reality.

  30. avatar
    Vlad Ghiţă

    It is kind of funny when you look at it. I thought our (Europe’s) priority was assuring freedom, not building Nanny States. I have my freedom of contract, as a intern and as a company and no econimic and/or political entity is allowed to take that away. If I want to provide unpaid work, so be it. If I want to employ unpaid work, there should be no problem. I wish the day would come when uneffective, incompetent states and/or supranational unions would stop “banning” things and taking away liberties just to make up for their own inability to manage youth unemployment and bad wages. I DON’T NEED THE EU TO PROTECT ME FROM THE ABUSE OF COMPANIES, I NEED THE EU TO PROTECT ME FROM THE ABUSE OF STUPID LEGISLATION!!!

    • avatar

      As someone mentioned above, the problem about unpaid internships is that they create discrimination. The economic world is, or should be, about efficiency, skills and expertise, which will no longer be the case if companies keep hiring interns who are just lucky to be able to afford their expenses with the help of their families while working in an unpaid position. This regulation is a means to maintain a certain level of equality; and speaking of freedom, it means not being forced to do something I do not want to do. It seems to me like you’re just complaining for the sake of complaining.

  31. avatar
    Pablo GC

    Maybe not ban it, but it should be defenitely ilegal firing paid employers to get free interns. That is so socially unstable.

  32. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    Corruption creates slavery ! You borrow money to corrupt country like Greece or Croatia and those money just disperse . The only thing that is left is a huge debt to poor folk . Poor folk is than just a slave to the banks but rich-corrupt people send money to secret accounts in Switzerland . Than you have problem that poor people are very angry just because they have to pay back a huge amount of cash and they have to spend life in poverty .
    EU should help corrupt countries in their fight against corruption and tax evasion , how much in tax has been collected from example Apple and Google in Greece = 0.00 $ . European System of Central Banks should write off debts , arrest gangsters and help poor countries to become free of slavery .

    BBC – tax evasion : Mr Henry said his $21tn is actually a conservative figure and the true scale could be $32tn. A trillion is 1,000 billion.

    Greek cash is in Swiss banks . The Tax Justice Network has said that there are over ?20 billion in Swiss bank accounts held by Greeks. The former Finance Minister of Greece, Evangelos Venizelos, was quoted as saying “Around 15,000 individuals and companies owe the taxman 37 billion euros”. A study by researchers from the University of Chicago concluded that tax evasion in 2009 by self-employed professionals alone in Greece (accountants, dentists, lawyers, doctors, personal tutors and independent financial advisers) was ?28 billion or 31% of the budget deficit that year.

  33. avatar
    J P Schoffer Petricek

    better unaid internships than none. Nobod is obliged to make an internship. Therefore, the parallel drawn to slavery is just ridiculous.

    • avatar

      Whatever happened to graduate and junior positions paid above the minimum wage? Do you remember this time when you could go to the university, do some internships while studying, and then start at an entry-level position once graduated? Well, this is not the case anymore and now young professionals have to do unpaid or low pay internships for up to 2 years after graduation in certain cases. Maybe you are too old so this didn’t affect you, but this is a reality today and it is not fair.

  34. avatar
    Paul X

    Firstly, I work for a company that has a proven record of providing Interns with a good experience and we also pay them a reasonable wage

    Where I take issue is with all those who cry that Interns deserve as much pay as other workers. An intern has no experience, they need more supervison than mature workers and require training before they can produce work of any benefit. This training and supervision is a burdon on the existing employees that most people seem to be ignoring

    I recruit and train many Interns for my company but this is in addition to my contracted job and it takes time out of my day that would otherwise be doing productive work, I’m very much for interns but nobody should be under the illusion that they are a “win win ” situation for a company and source of cheap productive labour. A good company invests a lot into its interns over and above what they actually pay them

    • avatar

      Dear Paul,

      It is not about crying, it is about equality and decent living standard for young professionals.
      You say that interns have no experience, I just went on EurActiv and, guess what, the first internship posting I clicked on asked for “Recent working experience in the EU institutions”. You may answer that this is only an exception. Well it is not the case.

      In some cases, companies may play their role and provide interns with work experience, this is maybe your case, but the rest of the time interns are seen as a cheap solution.

    • avatar
      Paul X


      I would suggest that any Internship that states “must have work experience” should be completely Ignored
      An Internship is not for qualified people, recently qualified people go on graduate schemes
      An Internship is part of education, and while I fully agree with the subject of this topic that unpaid internships should be banned, I also do not believe they should be paid at full time employment rates

    • avatar


      I can agree with this last statement.

  35. avatar
    Delft B

    The idea of internship is positive in itself but it is very easily abused. There many companies which work only with interns. I myself had a similar experience while working for a magazine in Brussels: Diplomatic World. The magazine worked SOLELY with interns and 1 payed secretary (min. wage). There was no training for the interns, the job was explained to them by older interns, mistakes were not tolerated and there was a regular psychological abuse from the editor in chief. In these conditions you can just choose to end the internship, but imagine how difficult that is for interns who come from abroad and invest money and time.

  36. avatar
    Giovanna Ferla Silva

    Definitley, my daughter studied hard as a pharmacist with a masters degree, her internship of nearly one year was unpaid!!! slavery!!

  37. avatar

    I was in London for an Erasmus Placement, in an Art Gallery with nothing to do except for being waitress and wash dishes. When I informed my University my host sent me back to Italy. I did not receive any money because I did not work for a whole month. So I spent a month in London working for free and paying everything on my own. Nobody helped me, nor University, nor Erasmus Placement. I am not going to try any new unpaid internship and I can’t stand common european money spent to help young people to survive in another country while exploited by parasitics.

  38. avatar
    Peter Castermans

    I get the argument of the employers. You cost money. But it is an investment. for the future. Companies should invest in people and people have to live and eat. If you want to recrute new employees as a company you have to accept that they need food. You can’t store like machine parts.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Interns do cost companies, mainly as a training burden, they are only an investment if they come back as a full time employee to the company where they did their internship…. which very few do

  39. avatar
    dr V

    PAID and compared to life cost of the city it is held

  40. avatar

    Internships can be seen as modern day slavery so yes it should be banned. One should never have to work for free. I do wonder on what grounds is it legal, especially for people who are not enrolled in a university program. How is one supposed to provide for oneself with no salary (or even with the usual under-minimum-wage-salary that interns might get)?

  41. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    A less negative expression (question) to address “internships” should be:

    How can (still) sovereign European countries find a common policy to assist graduates in the transition from years of studies & learned theories to applications needed in the “real economy”- neither without unfairly disadvantaging employer nor ex students? A win- win solution!

  42. avatar
    Erich Scheffl

    Give people a chance. Your “Policy” destros humanity. Sorry. You care only about money, privatisation, Lobbyists.

  43. avatar
    Tony Kell

    Or even Student Nurses who work long hours on wards making up the staff numbers and get paid ….NOTHING for three years but do get the benefits of buying their own clothing, financing their travelling, paying for child care, working unsocial hours and getting shouted at, shit on, pissed on, and puked on.

  44. avatar
    Seroga Miroshnichenko

    Make college affordable and maybe we won’t mind working for pennies to get our resume built up. Of course if college rapes us and during college and after college we have to work for free then why go to college in the first place.

  45. avatar

    We can differentiate the internships for students and young graduates who have no experience with already people that have some. Its not the same to hire a young graduate and someone who has 3 years of experience and ask for no renumeration.

  46. avatar

    A very much needed debate. However, it should be remembered that the issue of internships (paid or unpaid) needs to be discussed within the context of high unemployment rates and the need to do more in helping young people transition to the labor market. In this sense, the question of payment should go hand in hand with the questions of the responsibility of the employer towards the intern and vice versa. In addition, the question cannot be discussed without reference to opportunity and availability of opportunities for young people around the world. Many young people cannot afford to do an unpaid internship. In this sense, some of the more prestigious internships (such as the UN internships) are simply not available for a large percentage of youth population across Europe and the world.

  47. avatar

    My company always pay interns who have at least a Bachelor degree – and obviously all the ones who finished their studies, whatever type. But we do take interns doing short internships while still studying and we do not pay them – still we offer a small gift, like a tablet or a gift card online.

  48. avatar
    Diana Ferreira

    An internship should only be unpaid when in a protocol with university. Because you get a grade from it. Otherwise, yes, because companies take advantage of this. Why pay a qualified graduate with experience when you can have a young person from time to time, working for you for “curriculum”? Europe needs to do something about this.

  49. avatar
    Jimmy Hunter

    No. They allow the unemployable to get experience. It’s like going to school, university or college, and you don’t get paid to go there either.

  50. avatar

    Yes. Unpaid is unfair. Why should only those have access to a certain experience who can afford living expenses during an unpaid internship?

    • avatar

      Agree with that /\/\/\

  51. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurtoe

    Often there is abuse but is important ahaver stage with watering because it is an experience of future values for any trainee in Europe

  52. avatar

    Personaly, I believe internships should not be band, but some corrections are needed for interns and for company’s good.
    First, it’s the best way to try yourself and find your abilities to do specific job position, discover yourself in work market. And have it unpaid in high level company it’s totally worth it, cause of all knowledge intern is able to receive.
    But since we all know that not all internship are beneficial for interns, because of lack of responsibilities for interns, I believe such internships should be removed from the list to prevent students from wasting their time and money.
    Second, high level responsability internships, where first month intern is feeling lost and making tasks very slowly, but after some adoptation time, I believe one month it is, talented intern is actually doing employee’s responsibilities and creating additional value for company… This break point gives value for both sides, but it would motivate intern do all the tasks even better if at least low amount would be paid for the great job and efforts. Of course may happen not all interns are doing good job after short time, especially if tasks are difficult.
    So my soliution would be for company’s prepare more specific tasks intern sureally could do and pay least amount possible if it’s three months internship, and pay higher amount for longer internships, cause with time work efficiency is obvious if environment is supportive in the office.
    I dont understand companies which are inviting intern for one position, so they can save on salary… First work quality and speed for that position is always slow. Second, many confidential company’s data is shared with too many interns, who are not feeling loyal for the company, so the risk of data leak is in this place. Third, the image of company goes down, cause of exploit of interns, maybe, as well as other workers .

  53. avatar
    Gorgios Everytime

    Why do you even pose this question?
    Should free labor be banned??
    I am smart enough to say yes! Nobody wants to work for free unless the organization you are working doesn’t make profits

  54. avatar
    Teresa Dominguez

    We have a song in Portugal which states “what a crazy world, where you have to study to become a slave”…
    It’s told one has to take a high degree (which we pay), but then no one pays us when we are practicing it in our internships. And this is not regulated.
    All internships should be payed. We are generating income for a company, we should have income ourselves.

  55. avatar
    Ionut Virtaci

    Actually, banning unpaid internships could turn out wrong in this world of ours. It would effectively mean decreasing learning opportunities for graduates. And honestly, we all know experience is key. And because not all jobs are alike, some industries would suffer more than others. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not allergic to money. I’m only saying: you can force a company to pay interns, but you can’t force it to hire them. Resulting in less internship positions.

  56. avatar
    Sofia Roupakia

    Yes, they should be banned because some companies abuse this type of labour. Internships are not like studies, as some commentators suggest, because interns actually carry out proper work and its only fair to cover at least their expenses so they are not out of pocket. There are huge benefits for an organisation to take on interns, provided they have the capacity to line manage them effectively, as they can produce high quality work. They are highly motivated, bring in a fresh perspective, creativity and new skills and if they are treated fairly and inclusively they show commitment and appreciation and can act as ambassadors for the organisation. To take this further they can provide a more cost effective means of recruiting skilled workforce provided you don’t break the law on following a fair and transparent recruitment process. My comments are based on my experience as a line manager of interns.

  57. avatar
    Manuela Bartoli

    yes, of course! Everybody now seems entitled to ask you everything without any form of compensations. You can gain some experience (sometimes) but in the meantime you should be able to live by your own income. Otherwise the internship is the parents’ internship.

  58. avatar
    Perttu Saraniva

    Internship should be paid minimum wage if used in member country. Otherwise minimum 1000 euro or 50% of average salary.

  59. avatar
    Andrew Lally

    1. If you’re doing work that is useful for the company, then yes, they should be paid.
    2. If you’re not doing work that is useful for the company, what is the benefit of the internship?

  60. avatar
    Dory Moutran

    Internships are ways for companies to lower minimum wages. While unpaid is unfair, so are internships paid way under the minimum wage.

    In Belgium, there is the convention d’immersion professionnelle, which is below minimum wage but still decent. But there is still the possibility to have unpaid or 400? internships which barely cover rent.

    Another huge problem is the abuse of relying on interns. Too many companies rely on an indecent amount of interns. I’ve met interns who say they’re 4 interns for 3 employees. Some people also do 3 or more internships, some people do 12 months internships in one company, and some companies propose the renewal of internships for one intern.

  61. avatar
    Eric David Bosne

    If a work is unpaid it does not follow the standard of “equal work, equal pay” and should be considered a violation of human rights.

  62. avatar
    Katrin Mpakirtzi

    We became slaves for refrigirators and mercedes and then…die. This is not europes Dream for the european only for some govermends

  63. avatar
    Jean-michel Tisserand

    any countrys are chosen ; to join the FRANC MONDIAL beaten in meteorites gold , in purpose to equalise the entire nationals brut products , european country had been already grouped to be all absorbed all into one to le FRANC MONDIAL . dont forget one money to any country is not friendly with who is feeding trivials strzategic manners, the peace of any is leading, ther peace of the weaker country is the the primary aspect, the humanity psychee need this healing of a new economic rules and equity , that the faible are not the actual slaves that fed the abusiv profit done from strong money to faibles countrys .LE FRANC MONDIAL IS ALSO A PROGRAMM OF FREE ENERGY? AND ANTIGRAVITY APPLIED TO CIVILIAN TECHNOLOGYS ; KEYS TO THE CONTEMPORARY PARADIGMS, global warming , polar shift , polution , sur-population , share the extra atmospheric mineral ressources as an entire humanity patrimony , decidant that fed the trivials strategic manners trusting eugenics paterns . the migrant run away them countrys, it s to heal this process, ordonnate an decent issue of trust our human race expanssion to space expanssion and avoid any eradication programms .

  64. avatar
    Darius M.

    Abolishing them is not the answer. Making even fewer opportunities available in a market saturated with graduates will do little to help. On the contrary, the reduced number of positions means a larger number of applicants per position. The increase in the number of applicants will make it even harder to secure an internship, an integral part of career building.

    That said, current practices are unacceptable. I think the German system is a good first step to minimise the level of abuse, although it is not the ideal solution. Given the scale of the problem, it will be a piecemeal process and a final solution will come in increments.

    I do think that unpaid internships are detrimental to youth employment. As someone who is engaged in looking for an internship after his MA, I know how painful it is to see many good opportunities pass by because they are unpaid. I support myself fully and I do not have an opportunity to take on an unpaid internships. Those who have that option, for example, people living with parents (especially in big cities and capitals) have a rather unfair advatage. They are able to apply left and right, getting crucial credentials for their CV and the experience that will allow them to begin their career so much sooner and easier. The rest of us, however, are left to hope for the best.

    The system needs adjustments, but it should begin at a national level and should not involve complete abolishment of unpaid internships.

    • avatar
      Kim O.

      Agreed, I would love a paid internship too, but I also see how a policy like this could go very wrong. I live in a place that has made unpaid internships illegal to the similar extent Germany has and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been turned down from an opportunity I asked for because the company was not willing to hire interns they would have to pay. I have been able to do some unpaid internships elsewhere, which helped me land the job I have today. I pursue a highly competitive field and internship availability really makes or breaks a person’s career prospects. Many of my classmates will not be able to get the experience they need to work in the industry they studied for, or be able to pivot their career without having to pay for another degree. Also, the people who do get the paid internships normally have some privileges such as higher education, living accommodation paid by parents, and/or company connections (less struggles throughout their life); banning unpaid internships still hurts working class people the most. Maybe a government stipend, tax credit, education fee waiver (in certain countries without free higher education) for a certain period of job training/unpaid internship would work better than trying to force companies to pay interns which may result in less internships. I don’t really know, just considering alternative solutions and am very open to other ideas.

  65. avatar
    Festina Lente

    Yes ! and even ridiculous salaries of less than 1500 eur net a month should be banned…..IMMEDIATLY ! Shame.

  66. avatar
    Pedro Redondeiro

    Yes, it should be forbiden by law, to have “free” non-paid internships, due to the simpel fact that, the interns make exactely the same work as any other employee, meaning, the interns have the smae 8 hour schedule, with the same time for launch and the same amount of work load and most importantly the same “demands” to be efficient and professional. So basicaly yes, interns have the right to be paid for their services (interships)! ;) PS: the t-shirt, very smart joke!

  67. avatar
    Johan Jansson

    It should depend on what you internship you are doing. I am doing an internship in politics, where my employers aren’t getting paid either, just supported by tax money, thus I don’t get paid, but it is a very nice experience.

  68. avatar
    Rick Shay

    Change the term “unpaid internship” to “volunteer” and you may have something…

  69. avatar

    Yes, it’s a means for companies to dodge paying for the workforce they need.

  70. avatar
    Jason Cotterill-Attaway

    As the EU cannot being in any legeslation that will cause any citizen to become unemployed, i dont see how this is even open to discussion.

  71. avatar
    Svilen Marinov

    Depends on the internship. As most of you know there are unpaid cultural internships, organized by various organizations (not companies). They provide multicultural experiences which can hardly be obtained in their home countries. If unpaid internships get banned – it will affect the % of innovations and creativity of young people.
    Experience is experience, no matter how you look at it. It’s worth more than money.

  72. avatar
    Mathias Manzl

    Of course. I know a lot of places where reguar jobs are beeing axed due to not or less paid internships

  73. avatar

    A number of points:

    1) If the intern is not doing any useful productive work within two weeks then the internship is completely useless and is not providing any worthwhile experience.

    2) Unpaid internships discriminate against the poor and effectively reserve many careers to those with rich parents.

    3) Many employers use internships as a way to reduce staffing costs. For example many media outlets have sacked a high proportion of journalists and just use interns – supervised by editors.

    4) Many internships are not a route to a job in an organisation.

    I accept that is a legitimate need for some work experience with organisations. However, once over a month this should be considered a traineeship with pay.

  74. avatar

    Yes…a stipend should be obligatory. Unpaid internships only favour those who are already in a privileged financial situation. Is a significant barrier to equal opportunity and social mobility

  75. avatar

    Yes…a stipend should be obligatory. Unpaid internships only favour those who are already in a privileged financial situation. Is a significant barrier to equal opportunity and social mobility

  76. avatar
    Rumen Lupov

    Unpaid internship – no more than 3 mnths, paid internship – no more than 6 mnths.

  77. avatar
    Rumen Lupov

    Unpaid internship – no more than 3 mnths, paid internship – no more than 6 mnths.

  78. avatar
    Georgia Papasozomenou

    As long as employers ask for qualifications and have profitable businesses internships must be paid. I think the whole internship thing is more beneficial for the companies in terms of workforce cost. Even when the internship get paid the salary is enough only to cover intern’s basic needs. So you can imagine how much more beneficial is for a company to have a non -paid intern working with them. They recruit a qualified person to work for free. Well, I don’t think it’s wise for an intern to help a business make profit for free. Do you?

  79. avatar
    Ed Cocks

    No. It’s a great, low-risk, experience-builder for students while helping businesses spot young talent.

  80. avatar
    Pedro Redondeiro

    The answer is obvious: YES! The reason is simple, interns make the exact same work as other employees!

  81. avatar
    Tina Natuzori

    Isn’t an internship done -on a VOLUNTARY basis- for one to get experience in a real work environment for a limited time, before actually being hired to work there or wherever else? So, no.*

  82. avatar
    Romeu Monteiro

    No. If I do not want an unpaid internship I won’t sign up for one. If other people want one, who am I to forbid them from getting one?

  83. avatar
    Tony Kunnari

    Let us combine couple concepts together to tackle this issue and unemployment once and for all shall we?

    Q: Should unpaid internships be banned across the EU?
    A: Without a question, yes.

    Sole purpose of all companies is to maximise profit. They will not hesitate to seduce and take advantage of this possibility. This will continue in a form or another, more than one way, more or less until unpaid internships are banned. However I suggest internships to be banned all together.

    Internship was a poor idea to begin with. There was not enough time to design it comprehensively and those company-related entities who came forth with this suggestion knew what they wanted. A solution to a problem did not become its own problem because it already was a problem.

    In the absence of internships, we will introduce a new variety of Acts to raise the platform of unemployment to a level that evades it thoroughly. This obligates education centres and companies to a manner that not a single one becomes unemployed after graduation.

    I will update this comment whenever these Acts are fully ready.

    Market Dedication Act

    Employment Obligation Act

    Motivation Act

    Retirement Act

    Company Assembly Act

    Tours & Lectures Act

    Scholar Occupation Act

    Smith Occupation Act

    Contract Act

  84. avatar
    Ewa Polak

    the worst was when some years ago one of EU agendas proposed me unpaid internship: “minimum 6 months, willingly 10-12, no renumeration, abroad, no accommodation” – I have no idea how they could even think that student has savings for living abroad for one year and working full-time for free. It’s not just a thing that it’s “modern day slavery”, but it limits chances of those who cannot afford living with no income and sometimes at the same time having to invest into this upaid internship (travel costs, finding new accommodation abroad, insurances etc. – what is understadable when we decide to go abroad).

  85. avatar
    Blanche Rose

    Of course, YES. Just because slavery is against our european values. The only exception could be observatory internship, which last less than a months and are entitled to help student to find what they want to do in work or what they want to specialised in.

  86. avatar
    Laurinda Seabra

    Unpaid internships is nothing more than slavery. When I run my own businesses I had a policy that when a non-critical job become available in our organisation we would take on 3 people for that job and shared the salary between them for 3 months. At the end of the 3 months the best fit individual was then appointed – the other two had gained some experience that they could use in their job seeking.

    After a while,many other employers found out about our program and we become a source for them.

    We also paid above market salaries and benefits.

    It worked.

  87. avatar
    Matthew Hewitt

    One of the greatest ironies is that the UN pushes equal opportunity employment and attempts to hire people from diverse backgrounds but then has unpaid internships often meaning that only the financially able can take them on. Unpaid internships lead to undervalued young talent.

  88. avatar
    Kostadin Shopov

    There is no doubt that unpaid internships must be banned! Students with limited financial resources simply cannot afford to do such thing! However, not just the companies per se follow this discriminating practice, but many european institutions offer unpaid internships as well! Also, unpaid internships stand against all equality and non-discrimination provisions incorporated in treaties, directives and so on and on…

  89. avatar
    Oliana Demiri

    Personally I have banned unpaid internship, meaning by not applying to any of it. Depends on us and I choose not to be a slave in the 21st century!

  90. avatar
    Su La

    Yes, it should be banned in the whole world. Nothing called Internship, there is a JOB with payment.

  91. avatar
    Dot Bekker

    I can understand businesses doing this as they can end up teaching people a lot … HOWEVER, not paying a cent is unforgivable and companies should be expected to pay minimum wage and social security at the very least. Not doing so drives the wrong behaviours in people and results in a less balanced organisation.

  92. avatar
    Charalambos Cherkezos

    It’s painfully true……what a shame for Europe to steal from their children , their future !!! I wonder … is this the Europe our fathers dreamed of !

  93. avatar
    Emma Guess

    No to modern slavery, no to unpaid internships. Yes indivuals may seem free to apply and join but they are actually under pressure of system that is more and more demanding towards the workforce (especially in terms of experience).

  94. avatar
    Kostas Giannakos

    It shouldn’t be banned, although the current state of affairs should be somewhat changed. Looking for a job in my country (Greece), most job positions in companies are of the “internship” type. Unpaid work for 6 months, then a chance to be fully employed. What’s wrong is that most companies just let you go after this 6-month period and then hire another intern.

  95. avatar
    Nigel Davison

    You’d need to be rich to support yourself for six months. Therefore internships are out of the question for most people.

  96. avatar
    Fitore Bajraktari

    I am finishing my master degree and my brain really gets angry when companies or institutions offer unpaid internships for people like me. Yes of course I invested six years in University just to come and work for free! I find it abusive.

  97. avatar
    Fitore Bajraktari

    I am finishing my master degree and my brain really gets angry when companies or institutions offer unpaid internships for people like me. Yes of course I invested six years in University just to come and work for free! I find it abusive.

  98. avatar
    Eu CuMine

    each and every work that is unpaid (except for the voluntary ones) should be banned

  99. avatar

    I’m currently doing a traineeship and, fortunately, I get paid. In my opinion, of course the first one/two months you’ve almost no idea about your tasks…but young people learn very fast and the productivity increase also fast.
    And a very important factor is the financial possibilities you and your family have. Personally I can’t go abroad just like that and start an unpaid traineeship. I need at least any financial support from the company/organisation I’m working in.
    So FOR SURE the traineeships should be paid.

  100. avatar

    Well we could force them to give PAID interships and, true, they may decide as someone said before to say:
    “Well, if you force us to pay we will give out less internships so people will be less experienced”.

    But this is a mirage because we can continue with a very interesting legislation that FORCES these greedy bastards to TRAIN their personell before employment and citing “you don’t have experience” as a not worthy clause.
    Anyone who refuses a candidate based on “lack of experience” can and should be legal for trial for discrimination.

    And let’s see then how they act so tough.

    The EU has means if it wants to, question is, does it want to?

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Agreed, no company should refuse a good candidate on the basis of lack of experience

      But if you have shortlisted two candidates with similar characteristics and identical qualifications though one has done an internship (paid or unpaid) and one hasn’t, who would you employ?

      In today’s competitive job market people need the slightest edge over everyone else and if that means a few months unpaid work experience then it will have served a purpose

    • avatar

      Yeah, and while you’re at it, why not send the military in if a company refuses a candidate based on lack of experience. Everything would be so much more easy if we were in a totalitarian system, wouldn’t it be ? Your solution is also the perfect way to kill all small and medium sized companies who cannot afford to hire unexperienced staff, especially since in many european countries it’s very difficult to fire staff. And maybe, while you’re at it, we should also pay the students for giving them education. Think whatever you want, but internship is part of education, and in which country are paid to benefit from education ?

  101. avatar
    Arkadi Sharkov

    No – noone will be hired and the experience that you can get now will be lowered to one or two internships.

  102. avatar
    Sandro Benidio

    At least they should cover some expenses like transportation and one meal per working day, same thing as the slaves had

  103. avatar
    Lino Galveias

    yes they should, some people continue on internships or short-term contracts and precarious labour should be ended, it’s a plague.
    Here tourism, services like call-centres and even nurses are dominated by precarious and badly paid labour

  104. avatar
    Luca Bica

    I think a clear difference between voluntary work and internship should be done, interns should be paid symbolic

  105. avatar
    Loïc Diels

    Yes, employers take advantage of europe’s youth as thousands of eu citizens, even those coming out of grad school, must choose between being unemployed or working as an unpaid intern for years

  106. avatar
    Raymond Timmers

    Yes, but only for “interns” whom are not enrolled into any study/college. Student should be able to get experience through internships.

  107. avatar
    Ana Sousa

    Unpaid internships should be forbidden for those who aren’t students anymore, they deserve to earn money for their work!

  108. avatar
    Britman Rama

    yes…i think being symbolicly paid will be also more motivating for students or non-students

  109. avatar
    Cody Maverick

    I would start banning the common (typically european) idea for which the level of salaries have to be lowered… I think this ban will solve this and a couple more problems.

  110. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Internship as an educational tool recognized by an accredited learning institution where the student works side by side with a professional – can be paid or not, but it behooves the employer to be fair.
    Internship as a source of “cheap labor” and as a replacement for a salaried / paid employee – should not exist, should not be allowed, should be heavily fined. This is not internship, it is exploitation under a different name.

  111. avatar
    Rogue Filth

    Yes! Unpaid internships keep poor students who can’t cover their costs from gaining valuable experience and open the door only to those who are already in a privileged position.

  112. avatar
    Tony Kunnari

    Major problem of these internships is that they are used to fill in the results of the companies instead of the practise i.e. the foundational idea of these internships. Experience is valuable for the interns, but not for the companies and if the interns are already able to do what companies want, they will ditch the interns after their period comes to full closure. After this, the companies will take another set of interns and the same pattern begins again. This type of pattern is modern slavery with 100 % accuracy. Unless the interns form a company of their own, based on their acquired experience, their experience within a company is less fruitful.

    Companies nowdays only want to increase their positive margin of results. We need to re-design the whole internship program and I am positive that unpaid internship has to go. Also we need to make the companies more responsible in their actions and therefore we may have to introduce restrictions how they are able to hire people. If this is done in a specific way, we are able to tackle the misuse of internships and have balance how companies hire their staff.

    Introduction of basic income is also positive and a must to put into practise. This would contribute to the hiring process of all companies because their magin lowers the more people are unemployed in comparison to the costs of employed individuals.

  113. avatar
    Selcuk Ipek

    Interns should be paid,however more in form of a symbolic allowance. It is a matter of fact not a job, rather a learning trial.

  114. avatar
    Oli Lau

    Basically work is illegal in europe. That is just another layer of red tapes. You should rather ask yourselves why job opportunities are so limited in number that employees have almost to pay employers to get a job.

  115. avatar
    Ed Cocks

    Not unless the company offers to do so. Don’t like it, don’t take the position. Internships are vital ways to gain experience, build your resume and try a company or career out before investing too much of your life into a trip down the wrong pathway.

  116. avatar
    Costi Ciudin

    Equal payment for equal work so yes, most defenetely. If they would pay the employees to do that, they should pay the internship applicants aswell

  117. avatar
    Radu Simandan

    No, it should not. It is about the freedom on contract. It cannot possibly be slavery if it is voluntary.

  118. avatar
    Akpans Intel

    Money is the foundation of evil.Its a long time tradition that people get educated for the future without being paid with money.Dont give me a fish,take me to the sea to get fish.When money comes in,the educator feels reluctant caus he is afterall paying for the sevices

  119. avatar
    Arjan van Eersel

    Governments should stay out of private matters.

    Whether or not companies accept internships and against which conditions is a private matter.

    @Akpans: If money is the root of all evil then please remember who’s the root of money.

  120. avatar
    Erik Van Den Haute

    No, hell no. Interships are part of education, it is all about trainees learning to work. Moreover, if you ban them, even for those trainees eager to learn and who are therefore ready to gain the professional experience, there will be not enough internships available anymore to meet the demand. So where are they going to get the experience that is required today in order to be hired for their first job ? Let them have this experience and see it as part of their education !

  121. avatar
    Dontu Marr-Jinsky

    Yes, but employers should be allowed to pay less than minimum wage under certain strict conditions (e.g. the internship must be related directly to education, can’t be any longer than what the school/uni requires, etc.)

  122. avatar
    Bruno Verlinden

    It depends. If the internship really allows you to learn something important, than doing it for free is worth it.

  123. avatar
    Makeze Roberts

    Experience doen’t pay your rent. Just because some peoples parents can afford to pay their kid through unpaid internships after all the other education they put you through, doesn’t mean everybody can. We are depriving our economy of a great amount of talent if we let this continue. Also, if somebody is earning money with your time and talent, then they should be obliged to share it within reason. Internships are usually not used for unskilled labour, these people have had a great amount of education. They deserve the minimum wage, just like everybody else.

  124. avatar
    André Guimarães

    There are tons of nacional programs, financed by european money, which allows young workers getting a paid internship, with minimum expenses to the entity who receives the intern.
    I can’t understand why people are encouraged to enroll in unpaid internships and accept it.

  125. avatar
    Ana Quintas

    Of course! There are no equality of opportunities if you have to pay for your education. You can have a brilliant cv and you want to improve your education by going to another country and work and learn, and do long… but you cannot if youndo not have the money for that. That it is why the world and organisations are rulled by the rich people…

  126. avatar
    Pietro Moroni

    They should be abolished. Work always must be paid.

  127. avatar
    Luigi Monteferrante

    Yes. It could also be regulated according to size of company. A tiny bookstore or craftsmen/women might not be able to afford paying a salary, but a midsized company, newspaper, institution would certainly not be ruined by paying an adequate sum to a student or graduate.

  128. avatar
    Giulia Curtabbi

    Yes they should be paid otherwise only young people coming from wealthy families could join job opportunities.

  129. avatar
    Oli Lau

    Taxes on work should be banned across europe instead. It should be considered as it is: racket.

  130. avatar
    Andrada Balan

    This is one of the biggest problems regarding internships/traineeships: the unpaid ones (they benefit the applicants who can afford the expenses of living abroad/away from home) and the fact that there is a tendency of prefering applicants with experience (with more than one or two internships in their resume), when internships are supposed to be for people who don’t have or have very little experience. Also, a very sad issue is that an internship with an European institution seems not to be an advantage anymore.

  131. avatar

    In my opinion, it should be equality for all people. It is the main point. Internships must cover all living expences

  132. avatar
    Miguel Queiroz Martinho

    I have a moderate awser for this. I believe in the intern perspective its ok to have 1 unpaid 3 month internship that is included in his studies at a university. on the other hand I think company souldnt be able to have say a rotation of free interns in theire company. there should be limits for this rotations.. because it is modern slavery in some companys that abuse of this

  133. avatar
    Breogán Costa

    I live in Geneva, UN has unpaid interns, and only those who can afford to live in this expensive city could apply, others are automatically out, and it doesn’t matter if they are very good, only matters the money of their families. So, it’s a club of privileged young people.

    Thus, unpaid internships are not fear, and it’s not democratic (not everybody has chances)… So, yes, they should be paid

  134. avatar
    John Zervas

    EU should consider paying for the very basics of its future citizens. A European Identity is not a given and must be nurtured. What better way to learn to love and believe a Union that pays you in order for you to learn, train, work and fall in love with it by travelling across all its awesome member-states? Money can be a pure motive if handled correctly.

  135. avatar

    Yes, indeed. This is a fertile camp for perversion of the meaning and purpose of the concept of work experience. End it, now … pay less, but pay for it. Trainees have little responsibility, still they are working. Not having fun. So, what’s the point for not paying for it?

  136. avatar

    Definitely. Internship is for gaining working experience and should be distinguished from volunteering, which is an altrouistic action.

  137. avatar
    Radka Brhlikova

    any unpaid intership is a modern slavery, moreover is not for the best from the best but only for the rich

  138. avatar

    In my opinion the subject must be regulated since too often (some) employers see internships not as a useful tool to train young prospective employees, but as a way to have unpaid workforce. I’ll tell you my experience. I am a student of translation and languages, this is my last year in my degree, and I am currently doing an internship for a company which consists on translating parts of its website into English and this from October 2014 to July 2015. As you can easily imagine, I am not being trained by the company who entrusted me with this task, I am simply working for them. Surely I am learning a lot of technical terminology, as well as learning how to cope with deadlines and many other things which will come in handy in the future, yet not being paid gets frustrating and undermines your motivation and enthusiasm on the long run. Reward and compensation should be seen as incentives to productivity (i.e. an investment) not as a burden or a waste of money.

  139. avatar
    Anca Nichifor

    unless someone wants to volunteer, then they should be banned. otherwise, it’s just a masked form of slavery

  140. avatar
    David Müldner

    no, in some situations it is more benificiary for students to have their (unpaid) internships in small local enterprises. On top of that, internships should not be about the money, but about obtaining workexperience, payment should always be secondary. Personally, I did my internship from mo-fri and worked on saturday. But then again, I still lived at home with my parents and had free public transport as a student So it differs, there is not really one answer

  141. avatar
    Catalin Durlă

    Yes, because you dont have the guarantee that if you work without beeing paid you will end up with a full time contract from the company! Young people only do unpaid interships hoping that they will be recruited at the end.

  142. avatar
    Inês Cortez

    Im doing an internship in Germany and if it wasnt paid i would have probably never come here. I think its pretty unfair parents still have to afford out studies a 40h per week internship. If i wasnt paid, i also dont know if, in my worst days, i would feel morivated to go – i would feel very explored. Plus, being paid makes u feel more like part of the team – u r not just someone who is there for free. Internships must be paid, even if only to prevent bosses to explore interns

  143. avatar
    Marçal Puigdefàbregas

    Yes they should. It isn’t even a full salary, so the companies should be able to handle it. And due to how difficult it is to get in the “real” working world those internships can help young people to have a life, not depending on their families or the state.

  144. avatar
    Roxanne Julie

    Yes, I lost a lot of opportunities due to the unpaid internships. They (ONGs, firms, institutions, all kind of organisms) want us to work for free, regardless of the fact we need to pay accommodation, travel, transport, food. Further, employers want us to have experience, experience most of us have as a waiter, or a hostess, because we couldn’t afford an unpaid internship. I think employers have no idea of the damage they cause by demanding us to accept unpaid internships. Also, doing an internship is doing REAL work, not just photocopies and answering the phone. Now, I even see internship offers that demand certains skills developed only by previous experience (so where’s the starting point?!).

  145. avatar
    Silvia Carrasco Pons

    Yes, they should. Otherwise only rich students or those who can be supported by their families can access these oportunities to get training in real working areas related to their studies and improve their CVs

  146. avatar
    Silvia Carrasco Pons

    They shoulvalso have committed mentors in their placements. Mentors that should be officially acknowleged for that task -the other side of the issue.

  147. avatar
    Wilfried Rimensberger

    I have 2 children in their BA year in Geneva. My daughter has done work experience in London and has never been paid, therefor needed financial support. To the great relief of us parents, my son, doing his work experience in Switzerland, got paid on a statutory scale. I think to start with there should be a basic pay covering transport and lunch for short work experiences under 2 months duration. Anything above such period should be honoured with minimum pay.

  148. avatar

    Of course they should be banned, unpaid work is slavery. And this should be legislated through an EU Regulation and not a Directive, otherwise countries will have the incentive to delay implementation! And such paid work should not be financed through EU funding as it happens in Portugal!

  149. avatar

    Whole idea of internship is peace of crap (except for Medicine professions or similar professions). I had been on one year internship in Croatia, and I get paid for 200 euros per month (government paid that income). After that internship I am again unemployed. What I had of that one year internship, one huge nothing. Still companies looking for 5-10 or more experience years when they want to hire new employer. Internship will have sense only if companies MUST, after internship, hire for minimum of five years in own company. All other solution is dirty capitalist terrorism of slavery.

  150. avatar
    Ciobîcă Ovidiu

    Why is that? Any opinion must be justified with some arguments to be considered valid. Internships are a legitimate right of any citizen and a democratic procedure, plus many find their paths to a successful career through internships. Companies need capable employees, and that is very hard to obtain just via a CV and job interview. Anyone who says otherwise is maybe just frustrated, because not anyone can earn an internship, this challenge is not an easy task but only meant for the ambitious ones.

  151. avatar

    Enought with unpaid internships. Or at least cover the basic expenses. Interns are equally working there as others!

  152. avatar
    Denis J Buckley

    If they are unpaid, they should be no more than 4 weeks. But the fact is, it can be a huge challenge and demand in some cases on employer resources to impart basic skills to interns. No matter how enthusiastic and well educated they are,it does not make up for common sense deficit in the work place and their lack of understanding to maximize use of resources. Many interns do not know how to relate to other people in a business- like and courteous manner with colleagues and clients/customers and that includes their unproductive addiction to their mobile phones and other social media devices that do not necessitate their use to carry out their work duties.

  153. avatar
    Anita Ivan

    It depends. I worked part time and did a part time internship with a tv channel, the experience landed me in a full time tv job, something I always wanted. My parents never paid anything. My life, my choice.

  154. avatar
    Thenie Chantzi

    If you make it compulsory to pay interns, young inexperienced people won’t be able to find work – paid or unpaid.

  155. avatar
    Ed Cocks

    No, it’s a golden opportunity for those with the drive, determination and intelligence to use it properly to gain experience and understanding in their future careers and possible employers.

  156. avatar
    Daniela Catarino

    My first thought about this issue is: No, we shouldn’t completely ban unpaid internships, despiste the “cons”, there are many “pros”, as for example allowing students and young graduates the oportunity to build their contact network, to work with renowed companies that would hardly give them a chance if they where paying them, to take advantage of unversity’s protocols with these companies, and also very important, to allow students to try out different fields of work within the field that they have chosen, and this way help them realize if it is really the career path that they want to invest on.

    BUT, I believe that even with unpaid intetnships, companies should pay interns for food and transportation costs (ar least!). Furthermore, I think that unpaid interships should only be allowed if the intern is a student or if it’s his first experience as a graduate.

    And finally, a company should only be allowed to hire an unpaid intern for a maximum of 3 months, after that the intern is already a productive and proven member of the company and should be paid accordingly.

  157. avatar
    Captn Bogdan Hristov

    This is so unreally stupid and will harm so many young people, whoever defends it should go check be examined by a psychoanalyst

  158. avatar
    Hr Tom Mosen

    if rich people want to get rich on the working backs of others, they should pay a fair wager for it…

  159. avatar
    Rui Copa

    Yes! One of the biggest problems of my generation is the inability to reach good jobs and positions, because every job requires you to go through an unpaid internship, and they often just ditch you for more unpaid labour when you’re through.
    It’s XXI’s century slavery

  160. avatar

    yes they benefit the privlieged. How can someone that cannot afford it yet has the brains for an internship go to EU? Even if an amount is paid, the living expenses are very essential

  161. avatar
    Anthony Cardona

    Definitely. .. it’s a legal form of cheap labour. What p*ss me off more is that politicians still get their beefed packages incremented … this is so flippen ridiculous.

  162. avatar
    Vanesa Gómez

    After my experience. two internships while studying law at the Catalan and Spanish Government I can say that unpaid internships are shameful. Maybe I was not productive the first couple of days, but I did the same work my collegues did during 80% of the time. I am not asking for the same salary as a profesisonal, I am asking for a minimun remuneration that covers your life expenses
    Unpaid internship are an excellent way to cut the access to those students whose parents do not have enought money to cover the expenses that involve living outside home.

    I had an amazing offer to do a six month internship at the United Nations Office in New York and sadly, I had to say no, can you imagine the reason?

  163. avatar
    Giannis Lainas

    no,we need more slavish labour…..the needs of the people are not essential for the wellbeing of the economy

  164. avatar
    Matthew Cruickshank

    If you want an equal opportunities society, where people are judged on merit rather than financial background, then, yes, of course they should be banned

  165. avatar

    Even when there is a law to pay interns when longer than 3 months, there are problems.
    It happened to me in two different workplaces in France: I had to sign 3 different contracts so the duration wouldn’t be long enough. Interns are not covered by workers unions nor by standard labour laws and protection, that’s also an issue.

  166. avatar
    Buj Alex

    yes, that doesn’t mean they should be payed and taxed … lets just reduce taxes for internship jobs and ban unpaid internhips … that is a good ideea, and that sends the message to the comunity that, states, aren’t intrested in there taxes, just for young members of society to learn to work for money … and earn a living coming out in adulthood

  167. avatar
    Massimo Ortale

    Every job should have a minimum payment.
    In my opinion there should be a minimum wage for all the workers in the EU.

  168. avatar
    Andreas Siantos

    Yes they should, but the market must also become more flexible in regards to the recruitment of inexperience/graduate employees. I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, and I can’t get experience because I can’t get a job. Hence, I am forced to pursue unpaid internship because if I don’t, I am never going to get a job.

  169. avatar
    Julien Unverzagt

    You are right Andreas Siantos, it is a vicious circle ! I keep bad remembrances from my student time because of these fuking crappy internships that in my eyes should just be banned !

  170. avatar
    Tony Kunnari

    Basic income will fix this issue whenever it is imported into the global economics system in a certain specific way. We can do this one area after another, but it must be imported as it is. Otherwise it will fail to do what it is meant to.

  171. avatar
    Ferenc Lázár

    If the elite millionaires of the world don’t realise that all employees should be given a fair salary, than the communism should come..

  172. avatar
    Stefano Musilli

    There’s quite a difference between slavery and unpaid internships. No one is ever forced to do an unpaid internship. Why are people willing to work for free?

  173. avatar

    yes, they should be banned! I think they should be payed less because they are not enough qualified yet but not less than the minimum wage of an unskilled worker.

  174. avatar
    Guillem Martí Bou

    The unpaid intership isn’t really unpaid. You get the experience, That is different way of be paid. Later, with this experience you’ll get better jobs more rewarding, and well-paid.

  175. avatar
    Vera Cardoso

    Not when they’re part of the school / college’s curriculum, which is a practical assessment. In that case, the “payment” is the grade you get at the end.
    Professional internships should be paid.

  176. avatar
    Thenie Chantzi

    No, they shouldn’t. Internships are invaluable for young, inexperienced people, They let them get their foot though a door that would otherwise remain firmly shut.

  177. avatar
    Vári László

    Someone will pay for them, because life is not for free. There are permanent costs like food, rent, extras etc. If the the company, institute wont pay for them for their work with which they make added value, their parents will pay for them e.g. There are always explanation for exploiting others from capitalist. Not to pay for a work, this is the classic sicksouled slavery capitalist approach to other humans……

  178. avatar
    Tina Manou

    If unpaid internships are banned, young people will find it almost impossible to find work. No employer will pay for an inexperienced person to do a job that a more experienced person could do better. Why should they?

  179. avatar

    The internships must be paid. Indeed there is lack of experience and money are not supposed to be a ‘motivator’ in such case, but there are advantages inclusively for the employer.

  180. avatar
    Angela Zoulou

    Absolutely! EU must take measures to stop unpaid internships

  181. avatar
    Elina Mavrogiorgou

    According to the feedback we get from the Greek Erasmus students, traineeships in the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme and its predecessor Erasmus/Life Long learning Programme give them the opportunity to get valuable experience and apply what they are learning in theory. It is true though that we are informed from time to time about abuse cases. As the Hellenic Erasmus+ National Agency puts emphasis in the good quality of Erasmus traineeships, in case our students report us cases of abuse, such as no respect of the training agreement signed, which must describe in detail their duties according to their field of study, long working hours (more that 8 per day), we examine every case and usually we allow them to find another traineeship position in the same country. The Erasmus offices of Greek HEIs are strongly advised to be in regular contact we their outgoing students so as to detect in time this kind of problems.

  182. avatar
    Nikolaos Karanasios

    Depends on the readiness of students to create revenue for the employer. The more complicated the tasks (like accounting, business administration, advertisement, human resources, graphics, architecture, or whatever needs creative attitude), interns do absorb and not create revenue. Add that language is also a burden … Different is ie civil engineering…

  183. avatar
    Nikolaos Karanasios

    After the failure of the family business, I offered to be tested by my first employer (1983) without a compensation for three weeks. I was hired the third day, but I was working in the family business from the age of 17 and all of the duration of studies (post graduate included).

  184. avatar

    I am a bit torn between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. On one hand I would say ‘yes’ as companies are unlikely to stop exploiting people like this and people should be paid for the work whose results bring profit to a company. A middle way (one internship, at most 3 months) might be an acceptable compromise.

    As the main issue claimed by employers is that young people don’t have ‘real-world skills’, I would say this:
    – skills are to be formed in the university, if graduates are considered to not have real-worl skills then the issue should be fixed at education level, rather than through law
    – the people that bypass university may need a different way to form skills, for them a period of unpaid training might be justified, but should be limited
    – those that want to switch career fields might need more than conversion programs

  185. avatar
    Guillem Martí Bou

    The experience is a payment, like money. If isn’t enough for you, take it easy… Don’t do it. Is not mandatory. With the experience you get in unpaid interships you’ll get a better Job.

    If you don’t get it, well… That means your skills are not enough valious, try again …

  186. avatar
    Dimitris Maragkos

    Unpaid internships are a common phenomenon not only within EU but in a national context too. As a communication Officer in the Hellenic State Scholarships Foundation- IKY, National Agency of the Erasmus+ Program, I would like to inform you about a solution proposed by IKY last year which matches the education skills with the labor market in order to protect and empower Europe’s best human potential and resources.

    IKY, which was awarded last year with the EFQM award for its excellence, undertook the implementation of the innovative project “2+2” in order to address the concerns of young people for high unemployment. The Organization undertook this challenge in a pilot program in cooperation with the National Bank of Greece (NBG), one of the most important financial institutions in Greece. IKY scholars in parallel to their 2-year post-graduate studies’ were conducting in-service traineeship to central branch offices of the National Bank of Greece. The Bank was paying social security costs of the scholars according to the Greek laws. After completion of the 2-year post-graduate studies, the National Bank of Greece offered to the scholars a full-time employment jobs for two more years, program “2+2”. Most recently, this practice awarded the “Global Business Excellence Award in the Outstanding HR Initiative category”.
    What IKY practically achieved was to provide scholars with the opportunity, while conducting their studies, to perform a two-year internship following a two-year full time employment.

    This innovative service is now widened to more participants both by means of scholars and business organizations. The new scholarships program has been proposed under the new programming period 2014-2020 and has been pre-approved.

    The social impact of the specific Scholarship’s project is big as it represents a high effort to stop the unemployment (mainly in the age group under 25) and the “brain drain” phenomenon as many of our young generation, due to their despair by the lack of job opportunities, leave abroad in order to find a work life balance. IKY wants to become an exemplary Foundation for other institutions and companies so as to support this social welfare project.

    We would like to see this project being a best practice example in a European context in order to give young people the opportunity to have a descent future!

  187. avatar

    Internships are advertised saying they’re unpaid. You don’t like? don’t apply. Simple as that … apply for a paid job instead. You took a choice to sign the unpaid contract and were sufficiently informed. It’s not slavery when knew what you were getting into, you weren’t forced into an internship so don’t complain once you choose to take one. I’ve noticed that 50% of interns are useless and think they are overqualified for the job. Internships are a sieve, to sort out real talented but inexpereinced workers from the over-privileged, ego-centric posers.

    • avatar

      Well, I would imagine that no one applies for an unpaid internship out of the goodness of their hearts. The trouble is that there is such insanely high competition for normal paying jobs that people resort to unpaid ones. Plus blanks don’t impress on CVs so people rather work for something/anything rather not work at all. NOW The point here is, that it’s unfair to exploit this situation and offer unpaid interniships in the first place. The other, and in my opinion an even more important point, is that you exclude people who cannot afford to sustain their life during the unpaid internship. This of course doesn’t go for all countries. In Germany an apprenticeship is part of education. And that is how it’s treated. This discussion however is about demand for highly qualified work and how certain people chose to replace full time people with interns. Especially in places like Brussles.

    • avatar

      Dear Mr/Mrs Commonsense

      Your comment is truly a nonsense and your lack of empathy with others in an offense itself.

      Keep it to yourself such mind, please I insist.

      And by the way, did you ever volunteered with a charity of any type? Did you helped in a humanitarian or natural disaster? You should it seems you need to learn some skills about what is to be like an human.

    • avatar

      Perhaps in order to reach a mindset of “Commonsense” it would be best to first of all get to know the socio-economic context first.
      The introduction of this debates quotes the number of unpaid internships as compared to those who are paid. And with such a high percentage it is quite clear that it doesn’t allow much of a “choice”.
      And as a growing number of entry-level positions, in all sectors, turn into internships, there is few alternative to “apply for a paid job instead”.
      As of not being forced into it, when it’s a compulsry part of your education it can be discussed. On other cases, you are right, young people can also chose to do nothing instead, with the risk of having a gap or a blank as zolcerik said.

      The last point I would like to make about your comment is the most important:
      on the contrary of what you think, internships, as they are unpaid, actually sort out the over-privileged from the talents who come from poorer areas.
      If you can afford to work as an unpaid intern for 2 years, to get a real position where experience is required, it means your parents are able to support you during that time.
      Now, if you don’t come from a privileged background, no matter how skilled and talented you are, you have lower, or even no chance, to make it and start your career.
      Welcome to today’s reality.

  188. avatar

    My work is very humanitarian and very related to natural disasters involving occasional missions to disaster zones so I don’t have the time to do “voluntourism”. I’m also a pragmatist.

    I started off as an intern and got my job after many months of long hours, but my dedication paid off and my abilities, noticed. Other interns around my time, complained about no pay, came in late, left early, complained about that they were above some of the menial tasks that were given to them and not performing them with diligence. As expected, they were overlooked and rightly so.

    I also worked on most weekends and occasional weekday evening as a child minder. So I earned enough money for basic life and an occasional glass of wine. And yes, this work was off the record and my permit doesn’t allow me to work in bars etc.

    If internships are so abhorrent then do the right thing and boycott them. When there is no one wanting internships then they won’t offer it… but of course, no one will boycott them.

    It’s not the easy way like most people think. Getting success from an internship is as difficult as getting success with applying for a paid job with having no experience.

  189. avatar
    Σαντυ Μπαλμπαγάδη

    Of course.These people work harder than the others because they hope maybe they will be kept later working.This is what Greek goverments do in order to take advantage of people.Bravo EE you are same.

  190. avatar
    Σαντυ Μπαλμπαγάδη

    Of course.These people work harder than the others because they hope maybe they will be kept later working.This is what Greek goverments do in order to take advantage of people.Bravo EE you are same.

  191. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    If an intern is unpaid then there should be an obligation by the employer to take on that person in a salaried position after the intern-ship – otherwise it is just slavery – and no value to the intern. How many interns are taken on as employees after they have completed their time? How many are taken on by the European Institutions ?

  192. avatar
    Tony Petersen

    Banned across the EU? The EU insititions offer ‘traineeships’ themselves, inclunding unpaid ones…

  193. avatar
    Christos Karlettides


  194. avatar
    Nikos Gyparis Volakis

    Not at all. Companies give untrained interns exposure to projects and environments that did not have access before as well as very good experience that the interns can use to land a much better jobs.

  195. avatar

    1-there is no way to control if internship are actually productive or lead to scanner-alike tasks all day
    2-no health coverage is against human rights
    3-intern are never assigned too hard tasks (it’s against the business convenience); don’t blame it on the (weak) teaching aspect
    4-unpaid internships are a great way for companies nowadays to have cheap workers, that is out of discussion, just have a close and sincere talk with companies.
    5-real life experience is also gained through MBAs, LLMs or masters involving practitioners; don’t blame it on the “real-life” experience
    6-unregulated internships can easily lead to an eternal experience with no limits of renewal, time and the like.

  196. avatar
    Konstantinas Navardauskas

    Internships of up to half a year should be paid anywhere inbetween half and the full minimum wage set in the country. Let’s not forget the company does have to invest in the internship.

  197. avatar
    Olivier Gbezera

    Comparing internships to slavery is terribly insulting to those who were or who are slaves. Get over yourselves.

  198. avatar
    Georgi Tashev

    Are you really so stupid to ask that…???? OF COURSE must be paid. The picture says it all, EU act as total crime union, working against the human, and human rights … Of course it should be banned.

  199. avatar
    Petio Peshov

    YES! With youth unemployment growing, you have to give more chance and opportunities to young people.

  200. avatar
    Fani Stavridou

    Absolutely Yes because it is unfair for the people who can not make an internship in another country And gsin valuable experience. All the people at the same time can make internship hain valuable experience And earn their own Money

  201. avatar
    Elmar Kirchner

    imho only a paid internship is a serious one. triggers budget, triggers responsible person, triggers reporting on what happend with money and intern. unpaid lacks the above and 9/10 times the interns end up wasting a lot of time as someone’s shoe polisher…

  202. avatar
    Steve Whittle

    Yes why should companies get something for nothing, and evade paying social taxes on interns wages they should have paid them.

  203. avatar
    Carmela M. Asero

    YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, definitely YES!!! Paid schemes can be discussed but surely no room for unpaid ones.

  204. avatar
    Eduardo Coelho

    “Unpaid” by who?… Interns do pay – a lot! They pay for accomodation, meals, commutation, clothes…

  205. avatar
    Christos Nicolaou

    YES!! because this can be abusive, especially in advertising, PR, marketing and any related field, a company can form an internship every 2,3 months to “hire” student to do free work for you.

    They should paid any internship employee, not a normal rate of course because they lack of experience but they should give something.

  206. avatar
    Ulf Skei

    Well, aren’t people allowed to say no in The rest of Europe? Here in sweden we have The right to say thanks but no thanks to whatever…

  207. avatar
    Venetia Koussia

    Internship is an excellent bridge from education to employment. Graduates are working to find out more about a profession, working conditions of a specific company etc. This means that they are offering their services and they should get remunerated for that. Internship offers an excellent opportunity for young people to immerse gradually into the world of work. This should be done in the most decent way. For this reason proper evaluation before and after the internship plus a systematic follow up during the course are mandatory so that all participants are at least satisfied.

  208. avatar

    For the starting month they shouldn’t be paid and later as they get trained should be given minimum wage as per law.

  209. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    Yes, this is slavery… and the European Union in Brussels and Strasbourg are exploiting these people. The EU can afford to pay these interns. If this was the 18th or 19th century it would simply be called slavery. If these people came from Africa or the Philippines it would still be called slavery. Just because they are Europeans doesn’t mean that the same word can’t be applied.

  210. avatar
    Chris Panayis

    “Yes or no” is blind. One company offers internships and a person freely accepts. If internships are a short term training program by a company, then most of the internship wil cost to the company because it has to use resources for the training, where the intern becomes a skilled worker by spending some of his free time. if internships are a prerequisite for employment at the relevant company, then they are illegal (or should be).

  211. avatar
    Alex Borg

    Yes, absolutely. Otherwise it is exploitation under the guise of giving young graduates and school leavers the opportunity of work experience. There has to be the motivation of some dignified remuneration.

  212. avatar
    Wallace Oliveira

    I would say it depends a lot… in most of the cases the internship will give you a lot of knowledge, because that’s it’s main goal. you are not required to have any peculiar skill to get a internship nor do you get into an interview (in most cases at least). But it certainly would be nice for at least the food and transport to be paid, I’d say that much.

  213. avatar
    Guillem Martí Bou

    No. Free market, if the young people, some of us, we want work for free, in order to get experience, and improve our skills; we should be allowed to do it.

  214. avatar
    Peter Ross

    Absolutely this should be illegal and is tantamount to a form of slavery. I was asked to do this and agreed to until I found out I would not be getting paid ANYTHING not even expenses for travel. The problem is employment ”Advisers” at Jobcentre and Other government agencies seem intent on pushing as many people down this route in order to massage the unemployment figures. If you refuse which you of course still legally can you are then seen as uncooperative within the system when in actual fact all you are doing is standing up for your rights as a human being not to be exploited.
    Why should any company or business benefit at your expense when I asked about this I was told it would give me valuable experience – not something I need as I have plenty of paid work experience.

  215. avatar
    Darcy Brás da Silva

    I think unpaid interships must be allowed but with sensible rules.
    I am not only for the 3 months strategy but also with a strategy that the company needs to actually hire a fair percentage of the interns it gets, otherwise be banned from being able to intake interns. Thus creating an incentive for real investment in the education of this interns and at the same time promoting employability and thus preventing the abuse of ‘cheap’ labor.

  216. avatar
    Darrell Mennie

    yes, of course. if you have a business model that relies on low or unpaid positions you have a very flawed business and deserve to have the market correct it.

  217. avatar
    Claudio Bartoletti

    yes , no matter how little one does it still benefits the other so work must equate to money or else be banned

  218. avatar
    Iveta Gado-Gado

    Definitely! Every adult person needs to eat, pay rent, transport and buy decent clothes when joining the labour market. I am not from a wealthy family and that’s why I was excluded from possibilities of internships and volunteer jobs. Unpaid internships is luxury for rich kids or those lucky to find one close to their parents house. If an organisation is so badly managed and cannot afford at least a min. sum to pay a trainee, they should at least cover the lunch, transport and offer adequate working time so that the person can still have a second job to cover basic expenses.

    • avatar

      I agree with this. We should keep in mind that “interns” are not children but adults who need to provide for themselves and maybe other people as well, and it is quite possible that their families are not capable of, or willing to support them through their education, let alone the internship period, which they might have to go through in order to get a job later.
      Interns should be given real work to do and be paid at least minimum wage for their efforts, they are not

  219. avatar
    Stelios Bourodimos

    Even the medieval guilds protect theirs apprentices with a kind of minimum wage across Europe… do we really have to debate this?

    • avatar
      Margit Kuuse

      Well it is actually a very important problem. I understand that your generation had it made but mine is struggling and as work has become a mythological creature that no one has ever seen, much like a damn unicorn, at least getting a few pennies out of an internship would be nice. You know, just so that I wouldn’t have to choose between paying my rent and eating…

  220. avatar
    Alexandru Sudiţoiu

    At first I was tempted to say yes, but I do remember how difficult it can be to find a good internship which is often necessary for one’s studies. Experience, knowledge, developing your social circle and being able to go forward with university demands represent a form of payment in themselves. Forcing paid internships would only limit the offer of such options on the market and it might do more bad than good. Perhaps a better solution would be in encouraging paid internships by certain advantages offered by the state for those who pay their interns. It’s a more positive force without all the side effects.

    • avatar
      Patricia Dias da Silva

      Unfortunately, that also brings problems, especially if it’s financial support. In Portugal, people in copaid internships (shared between state and companies) were forced to return the company’s part under the table.

  221. avatar
    Mauro Scimia

    Yes. It’s not even fair to call it an abuse, since that would imply some sort of legitimate form of unpaid internship. It just doesn’t have to exist.

  222. avatar
    Marko Martinović

    You need to find a better solution. Banning outright might have other negative side effects. People migh just refuse to hire any interns.

  223. avatar
    Sabin Popescu

    Any contract should be voluntary!
    If the interns are investing their time to gain experience it’s not unpaid.
    Unfortunately socialists only think about money and capital, but never value people and experience

    • avatar
      Ed Hill

      I have the polar opposite opinion to you on this.
      If you are the son/daughter of a millionaire then maybe you can afford to work your whole life for free, gain the experience and get the best job etc. So unpaid internships are not an option for somebody who can not afford to work for free, who might also be the best person for the job had the opportunity been an option for them. So please explain to me how somebody who can not afford to work for free can compete with somebody that can?

    • avatar
      Louis Jeffs

      So if your employer decided to reduce your salary by half, you’d consider yourself not to be losing anything, seeing as half your labour is simply payment in experience.

    • avatar
      Sabin Popescu

      If my employer decided to reduce my salary for half, I would have a choice to make:
      A. sign the new contract
      B. leave

      Internships are not meant to last forever. If you are always a student and/or always an intern, the problem might lie somewhere other than with your employer…

      Someone that cannot afford to work for free for a couple of months, can choose to take another job in another field, a job that doesn’t require any qualification, raise some money so they can work for free for a couple of months and then prove that they are the best for that other job after the internship.
      They can also work a part time job in parallel to the internship for the same purpose…

  224. avatar
    Yanis Sarto

    Would be a positive step because they just lead to employers taking advantage of young professionals

  225. avatar

    The main problem is the lack of regulation and the lack of interest in giving the youth an enriching experience for their internships. It’s widely accepted as something you must do without questioning. We need to raise our voice to address this issue properly and not just accept it as it is.

  226. avatar
    Aitor Morgado

    The main problem is the lack of regulation and the lack of interest in giving the youth an enriching experience for their internships. It’s widely accepted as something you must do without questioning. We need to raise our voice to address this issue properly and not just accept it as it is.

  227. avatar
    Hr Tom Mosen

    unpaid work -scams is a violation of the UN human rights, article 23…down to every subparagraf…

  228. avatar
    Ether Traveler

    Why not forcing to get rid of the whole payment system & brain washed mentality?

    What’s wrong with that?

    Resource Based Economy, anyone?


  229. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    “La salma del Primo Maggio fu tumulata nel 1975, nell’oceano Atlantico, dopo che la Commissione Trilaterale lo assassinò. Il sicario prescelto dalle elite di Stati Uniti, Europa e Giappone fu Samuel P. Huntington, nel suo trattato “The Crisis of Democracy”.

    Huntington scrisse:

    “Quando il radicalismo di sinistra perde forza, diminuisce il potere dei sindacati di ottenere risultati”…

    “la concertazione produce disaffezione da parte dei lavoratori, che non si riconoscono in quel processo burocratico e tendono a distanziarsene, e questo significa che più i sindacati accettano la concertazione più diventano deboli e meno capaci di mobilitare i lavoratori, e di metter pressione sui governi”.

    Parole, queste, che preconizzarono con estrema lucidità una delle epoche più infami dei rapporti fra Vero Potere e sindacati, quella che nel giro di pochi decenni li porterà dalla loro storica tradizione di lotta per ottenere sempre maggiori diritti, alla miserevole condizione odierna, dove essi ormai possono solo contrattate sul grado di abolizione dei diritti. Quella che porterà politica e cittadini ad accettare “l’inimmaginabile reso plausibile”, dove il lavoro, equiparabile ai globuli bianchi del corpo perché senza lavoro si muore, è stato privatizzato, precarizzato, flessibilizzato, reso noleggiabile, e un privilegio se lo si ha, come se avessero reso i globuli bianchi del tuo bambino privati, precari, flessibili, noleggiabili, e un privilegio averli “

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      Stefania Portici

      “The Primate of the First May was overthrown in the Atlantic Ocean after the Trilateral Commission killed him in 1975. The assassin chosen by the elite of the United States, Europe and Japan was Samuel P. Huntington in his treatise” The Crisis of Democracy “.

      Huntington wrote:

      “When left-wing radicalism loses strength, it diminishes the power of unions to achieve results” …

      “Concertation produces workers’ disaffection, which are not recognized in that bureaucratic process and tend to distance themselves, and this means that the more syndicates accept the more conciliation they become weak and less able to mobilize workers and put pressure on governments “.

      These words, which were extremely lucid to one of the most infamous times of the relationship between True Power and unions, which in the course of a few decades will lead them from their historic tradition of struggle to gain ever greater rights, to the miserable state of today, where they By now they can only deal with the degree of abolition of rights. The one that will bring politics and citizens to accept “the unimaginable made plausible” where work, comparable to white body globules because without work dies, has been privatized, precariously, flexibly, resettled, and a privilege if it is , As if they made the white blood cells of your child private, precarious, flexible, rentable, and a privilege to have them “

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    Ed Cocks

    LOL, no just let the slackers keep crying about the lack of opportunity in the workplace.

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      Stefania Portici

      il primo fannullone forse sei tu. Si tassa l’acqua , si tassa la casa, la scuola si paga, la sanita si paga… ….si tassano i servizi essenziali e non l’ozio !? Tassa l’ozio , il gioco d’azzardo, il fumo, l’alcool, la pubblicità , le macchine che inquinano ecc… non i servizi e vedrai che i fannulloni non esistono . Le tasse sono usate male da chi male vuole alla società .C’è qualcosa di malvagio nel sistema non nel lavoro o nei lavoratori

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