Invitation to comment
The FWO seeks feedback on some draft fact sheet resources being prepared by them.
Letter to ACEN inviting feedback (details of how and when). Feedback requested by November 22, 2013.
ACEN members played an active role in assisting the research undertaken for the report ‘Experience or Exploitation: The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia’.
ACEN subsequently organised a national video hook-up for the authors (Profs Rosemary Owens and Andrew Stewart) to outline the findings and recommendations to ACEN members which many of you will have attended. The attached resources form a part of the recommendations to provide more guidance to the sector in relation to issues relating to WIL and FWA. The FWO is seeking your input. This can be done by either contacting the FWO individually or organising a seminar at your university.
The contact details for Adam Rogers, Assistant Director – Education, Education & Major Employers, Fair Work Ombudsman are provided in the letter.
Fair Work Ombudsman’s Report
Released February 2013
The Report is titled ‘The nature and prevalence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia. Experience or Exploitation’ by Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens of Adelaide University.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has said they will act to implement the recommendations outlined.
ACEN has actively supported this research and thanks to the many ACEN members who contributed by completing the survey distributed through ACEN. The ACEN National Executive will consider the report and would welcome your comments.
Join the discussion
- Get the full report
- Report summary – findings, case studies, recommendations and responses
- A discussion has commenced through ACEN LinkedIn.
Key report findings
The report found that a growing number of businesses are using unpaid work schemes as an alternative to hiring paid staff.
The research acknowledges the importance and legitimacy of unpaid work within formal vocational placements. It also found that:
- employers want clarification about the legitimacy and legality of unpaid work
- young people and migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to being exploited
- unpaid work is most common in competitive industries with an oversupply of qualified graduates.
Report recommendations and responses
The report makes 6 recommendations that we will work to implement.
- Better define unpaid work experience.
- Expand guidance and education activities.
- Conduct targeted campaigns in key industries.
- Instigate legal action before relevant courts where appropriate.
- Improve liaison with relevant government agencies.
- Initiate comprehensive engagement with key stakeholders representing employers and employees, with an emphasis on vulnerable workers (young people and migrant workers).
Video of presentation to ACEN
Here’s the video of the recent presentation by Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens of Adelaide University, authors of ‘The nature and prevalence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia: Experience or Exploitation’.
IMPORTANT: Use the download button on the Dropbox site to get the full video.
FWO infographic issues and responses
This graphic summarises the issues around unpaid work arrangements in Australia. Produced by the Fair Work Ombudsman, this graphic summarises the issues and recommendations identified in the report ‘Experience or Exploitation?’ around unpaid work arrangements in Australia and outlines the Fair Work Ombudsman’s responses.
FWO Report – authors speak to ACEN
Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens of Adelaide University, authors of ‘The nature and prevalence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia: Experience or Exploitation’, spoke to ACEN members at RMIT on March 1, 2013. That event was also linked to fourteen ACEN member university campuses in Australia (and one in Vietnam!).
Professors Stewart and Owens have generously made their slides available to ACEN.
The presentation refers to a 2011 UK document ‘Common Best Practice Code for High-Quality Internships’.