Pulse of Canada

Unpaid internships: Valuable experience or free labour?

With graduating students eager to join the workforce hitting the streets this week, there has been a lot of debate over the ethics of unpaid internships.

According to some estimates, there are between 100,000 and 300,000 young people currently working for free in Canada, desperately trying to gain much-needed experience in order to land a contract or full-time job.

The practice is common and perfectly legal, as Canada's Labour Code doesn't contain any guidelines around internships, and doesn't even include the word "intern."

In many cases, unpaid internships benefit wealthy kids who do not need to earn an income immediately to support a family or pay bills. In others, companies bring in unpaid interns with the lure of experience only, with no intention in ever offering a full-time position.

So here's our question. Are unpaid internships a good way for young people to get experience or just a way for companies to get free labour?

Have your say in the comments area below.