Wall of Fame: TrojanOne

The Canadian Intern Association would like to welcome TrojanOne to our Wall of Fame. As a company that hires and relies on 30+ interns every year, TrojanOne provides an excellent template for employers across Canada. TrojanOne has committed to the equal treatment of interns and has worked to improve their intern compensation from an honorarium received at the completion of the contract to an hourly wage given to all interns.

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We spoke with TrojanOne’s Senior Manager of Recruitment Justin Orfus who provided us with some details about their program. Beyond providing interns with and hourly wage, TrojanOne boasts a program that hopes to combine ‘real world experience’ and education. Each internship is broken in to three or four month contracts beginning in January, May & September respectively. Interns are given clear training, expectations and feedback throughout their contract and most importantly an opportunity for full time employment. According to Mr. Orfus, “approximately one third of TrojanOne’s current staff are former TrojanOne interns”.’
To learn more about the program, visit:  http://www.trojanone.com/contact/internships/ 

The Canadian Intern Association cannot speak highly enough of TrojanOne’s efforts to fairly compensate interns and comply with Canadian employment laws. As a result, TrojanOne has set an industry standard for internships and earned a place on our Wall of Fame.

Adam Seaborn is a Film & Media graduate from Queen’s University in Ontario and a member of the Canadian Intern Association executive. He is currently applying for law school and seeking employment in television and new media.

Our Response: Stephen Poloz’s Comments on Unpaid Internships

This week the Canadian Intern Association has garnered some serious media attention from across the nation.

The debate on unpaid internships has been most recently ignited by Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen S. Poloz. Mr. Poloz’s comments in a press conference on Monday and his House of Commons testimony on Tuesday highlight some of the dangerous thinking that surround internships in Canada.

In response, Association President Claire Seaborn has appeared on BNN, CBC, CTV, Global News and has been quoted in numerous papers speaking out against Poloz comments. Additionally, Andrew Langille, General Counsel to the Canadian Intern Association, appeared on Sun News to debate the topic. Association member Kyle Iannuzzi has also done over a dozen interviews on CBC radio across the country.

Click below to see Seaborn’s response.

Claire Seaborn on BNNClaire Seaborn on BNNCanadian Intern Association on CTV

Mr. Poloz’s comments are indicative of the ignorance and misrepresentation surrounding unpaid internships. Proposing that youth volunteer for free and work unpaid in order to bolster their CV is a dangerous message for the Bank of Canada Governor to promote. His comments encourage employers to advertise and deploy illegal internships and suggest that youth looking for entry level work are not entitled to the minimum wage. Furthermore his comments unfairly mischaracterizes interns across Canada and fails to take into account the role that income inequality plays. Not all interns are able to live in their parents basement and take unpaid work to simply make “business connections”.

The Canadian Intern Association is excited to see this topic enter its way into the national debate and gain some traction among youth and news media alike. Our hope is that this will continue to shed light some of the legal and economic concerns surrounding unpaid internships in Canada.

Stay in touch with the Canadian Intern Association.

Follow Us On Twitter: @canadianinterns

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Below is a full list of the Canadian Intern Association’s reaction to Mr. Poloz’s comments.

Radio

CBC Metro Morning

Television

BNN

CTV

Global News

Sun News

Print

The Globe and Mail

CBC

Adam Seaborn is a Film & Media graduate from Queen’s University in Ontario and a member of the Canadian Intern Association executive. He is currently applying for law school and seeking employment in television and new media.

Wall of Fame: Career Edge

The Canadian Intern Association would like to welcome Career Edge to our Wall of Fame!

Career Edge is fantastic non-profit based in Toronto that matches employers with interns for PAID internships. We are so glad that they encourage employers to offer paid positions and show the value of recent graduates in the workplace.

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A self-sustaining social enterprise, Career Edge has remained passionate about connecting highly motivated, well-qualified interns with leading organizations since 1996. Whether an organization is in pursuit of talent to meet or exceed its evolving business needs, or a recent graduate, graduate with a disability or internationally qualified professional is seeking meaningful work experience consistent with their education and skills, our paid internships will give them the edge they need to succeed.

Career Edge works. Half of our interns are hired by their host employer at the end of their internship and most of the rest successfully launch their career elsewhere within six months.

We make the business of finding great talent cost-efficient and virtually risk free, while giving the edge to those striving to launch their careers.

Visit us at www.careeredge.ca to learn more.

 

Can Interns Really Gain Experience If They Are Working From Home?

Networking In Vancouver is currently advertising ‘Marketing” and “Editorial Producer” internships on their website. They’re looking for people who are “passionate about networking and business” and “looking for valuable experience to help [them] land a job in Vancouver”. Unfortunately the positions are, of course, unpaid. This is yet another case of companies in British Columbia targeting recent graduates with illegal internships.

The job description and requirements for the “Marketing Intern” are what you would expect and can be found in full here, but i’d like to point out some of the things about this ‘job’ posting that stuck out to me.

“As an MARKETER INTERN, all of your time will be spent working remotely”

Most defenders of unpaid internships are quick to highlight the value of working in an office and learning how a ‘real’ workplace operates. Unfortunately, Networking In Vancouver would prefer you work from home, so forget about gaining any ‘office experience’.

“THIS IS AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP that requires a passion for the online marketing, tireless hustle, attention to details and the ability to meet all deadlines. We require a minimum commitment of 15-20 hours per week. The duration of the internship is for 3 months (unpaid). Potential for an additional 3 month (paid) job extension that will be discussed with short-listed candidates.”

So first, if I’m not one of the lucky ‘short-listed candidates’ that worked the minimum 15-20 hours for 12 weeks a paid job will not be discussed with me and I will be sent on my way. Second, in the event I’ve worked hard enough to be one of these shot-listed candidates I’ll have the ‘potential’ for an additional 3 months of paid work.

Keep in mind, that doesn’t sound like a promotion, it sounds like I’ll be doing the same job as before but now i’ll be making money, which begs the question why wasn’t I being paid before? The first three months of this internship sound like a extended interview process, one that is unfair and unreasonable for people to put up with.

But surely I will be learning lots from this internship, there must be some value to spending 3 months unpaid at this company.

“Wondering about the benefits of working with Networking In Vancouver? Point blank – it is rare opportunity and unparalleled experience. This opportunity is a fully involved, learning by doing experience. You will be asked to take on critical tasks that directly contribute to the growth and success of Networking In Vancouver. You will also have the opportunity to attend some of the premier networking events in Vancouver as a representative of Networking In Vancouver.”

Besides the first two sentences which are essentially fluff, this unpaid internship will allow me to be ‘fully involved’ ‘attend networking events’ and ‘directly contribute to the growth and success of Networking In Vancouver.” Those do not sound like educational points, but rather things that employee’s do for companies – typically for pay. Apparently, my work will be directly contributing to the growth of the company, yet I will be gaining next to nothing in exchange.

Honestly, this does sound like an interesting internship and I’m sure someone looking for a career in online and social media would gain some value from it. However, if you take a look at the British Columbia Employment Standard Act you’ll find out quickly that this internship is in all respects illegal.The Marketing Intern at Networking In Vancouver would be doing work that without question entitles them to minimum wage in British Columbia.

In their defense, Networking In Vancouver did mention that if you’d like to use their internship for college credit they’d be happy to make that happen and that would indeed help make this internship legal under British Columbia employment law. However, unless you’re getting some college/university credit this internship is not worth your while and is a cheap trick to get some of their web and social media work done for free.

These internships are part of a growing trend that undervalues the skills of young people and particularly skills in social media. Prospective interns, focus on finding positions where you can gain actual experience in a working environment and make clear at the outset of your internship what your expectations are. What will you be learning, for how long and what is expected of you are important questions to ask. These will help to ensure that you’re not being taken advantage of.

The Canadian Intern Association is calling on Networking In Vancouver to comply with provincial law by either providing the minimum wage to their interns or creating educational internships for academic credit.

-Adam Seaborn

Adam Seaborn is Film & Media student at Queen’s University in Ontario and a member of the Canadian Intern Association executive. He is currently seeking employment following his graduation.