Unpaid internships can carry costly risks

A look at how — and why — employers should protect themselves
By David Whitten (Guest Commentary)
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/24/2013

Unpaid internships as part of co-op programs or partnerships with community colleges and universities are well-established in workplaces right across Canada.

These placement programs offer tangible value to both the employer and intern. Companies recruit more effectively and students gain skills and connections to help them find that all-important first job after graduation.

However, unpaid internships also have a dark side. Recent graduates, desperate for experience and facing the toughest job market in a generation, are increasingly being lured into unpaid internships with promises or suggestions of eventual paid employment.