Unpaid work and internships

Internships and other forms of unpaid work experience are becoming increasingly common in Australia. Well-designed work experience programs can clearly play an important role in the transition from education to work. At the same time, however, numerous studies have highlighted a range of risks associated with the growth in such arrangements. This project involves a systematic review of the international unpaid work literature. It also explored, through quantitative surveys and qualitative interview data, the prevalence and nature of different forms of unpaid work in Australia. The research highlights the complexities of the practice for individual students and job-seekers and the implications for employers, universities, VET providers, parents and governments.

Centre contacts

Paula McDonald
Deanna Grant-Smith


Damian Oliver (UTS)
Andrew Stewart
Anne Hewitt (University of Adelaide)