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Paid vs. Unpaid: the internship debate continues!

By February 8, 2012August 6th, 2019Uncategorized

On last night’s “Friendly Fire” radio talk show on CFRB Newstalk 1010, host Ryan Doyle introduced the call-in segment of the program by claiming that unpaid internships are “the only way that employers nowadays can combat the lackadaisical attitude [and] the over-expectations that kids have when they come out of university and college,” going on to argue that the internship-related foot-in-the-door and networking opportunities are forms of payment.

We respectfully disagree, and were pleased to hear that the majority of those calling into the show disagreed as well, supporting the paid internship alternative. “It is in my best interest to try to cultivate these young potential stars and bring them in with the right mindset,” said one employer in support of paying for an intern’s work. Another caller from the trades industry compared internships to trade apprenticeships that – in his experience – have always been tied to financial compensation, and didn’t see why white-collar internships would ever be unpaid when the worker is contributing in a equally meaningful way.

Earlier today, Mike Bullard picked up on his colleague’s topic in his CFRB radio program “Beyond the Mic”, and in contrast stated that employers should, “at least pay someone’s expenses when they’re on an unpaid internship.”

Unfortunately this bone of contention is nothing new, and has continued to be remarkably polarizing for both sides. We have certainly indicated Career Edge Organization’s position in the paid vs. unpaid debate with previous blog posts, strongly endorsing paid internships. But we want to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Take our poll or leave a comment to let us know your side when it comes to internship compensation.

Want to learn more? Listen to the podcasts of both CFRP shows, and read our previous blog posts that explore this issue by following the links below:

Friendly Fire Podcast – February 7, 2012
Beyond the Mic Podcast – February 8, 2012

“Paid vs. Unpaid internships: 4 reasons why it makes good business sense to pay your intern”
“What makes an internship a success? 4 things employers should know”