Federal Budget Talks on CBC Ottawa Morning

Today I spoke on CBC Ottawa Morning about the newly released federal budget.

Listen to the full radio interview here: 

The federal budget proposes to make the following changes to the Youth Employment Strategy:

  • $40 million towards supporting up to 3,000 internships in “high-demand fields” such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
  • $15 million “reallocated” annually towards supporting 1,000 internships in small and medium-sized enterprises

While some attention on youth unemployment is positive, these proposals simply are not enough. There are 400,000 Canadians in their 20s who are unemployed and this funding would help less than 1%. Furthermore, the budget does not include stronger protections for interns under the Canada Labour Code or a strategy to adequately track internships through Statistics Canada.

The budget also proposes the “Canada Apprentice Loan” that would support apprentices in skilled trades with $100,000 in interest-free loans for technical training. This announcement is unusual since young workers are having problems finding employers willing to train them as apprentices rather than facing difficulties repaying the cost of training.

Finally, this budget will have a disproportionately positive impact on young males over young females. Both the Youth Employment Strategy changes and Canada Apprentice Loan would support young people in male-dominated fields (i.e. engineering, math, skilled trades) and does very little to support young people in training to enter female-dominated fields (i.e. nutrition, nursing, social work). These female-dominated fields would equally benefit from internship funding and loan support.












Radio France features International Coalition for Fair Internships

Yesterday Radio France program “Le Mouv”  did a feature on interns in France after President Holland promised to better regulate internships and limit abuse. Story details can be found here and here.

The feature discussed the International Coalition for Fair Internships (ww.fairinternships.org), a collective of groups advocating to improve conditions for interns around the world. The Canadian Intern Association is one of 11 member organizations, and Claire Seaborn was invited on the show to discuss the state of internships in Canada.

Listen to the full story here:

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New Brunswick radio station interviews CIA President

This morning Tyler McLean from News 91.9 in Moncton, New Brunswick interviewed Claire Seaborn, President of the Canadian Intern Association.


The interview followed the Toronto Star’s coverage of internship issues by Zoe McKnight:


Claire Seaborn on CrossCountry Checkup with Rex Murphy

On Sunday, September 24 Canadian Intern Association President Claire Seaborn appeared as a guest on the CBC Radio program “CrossCountry Checkup.” Hosting the show was Canadian commentator and author Rex Murphy. Other guests included Jesse Kline (National Post), Jim Ketelsen (Vancouver Island University), Andrew Langile (www.youthandwork.ca), and Mike Moffat (Ivey School of Business). If you missed the show on Sunday, you can listen to the recording here.


One graphic designer says unpaid internships are wrong

Mark Busse is a graphic designer based in Vancouver and he opposes unpaid internships.

Design Edge and The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada Blog posted an article he wrote called: “Unpaid Internships are harming the design industry – and they’re illegal.”


Mark makes a ton of great points in this article and we fully support him. He emphasizes how unpaid internships contribute to class divides and put too heavy a burden on the intern to make a change.

Most unfair is that young designers likely aren’t strong enough to take a stand. Nor should they be. The “If you don’t like it, don’t accept the internship” argument puts the onus on them, and that is cruel.

He also explains the fact that the majority of unpaid internships are illegal under British Columbia’s employment laws. There are still far too many employers that are either wilfully blind or unaware that their internships are illegal and we would like to thank Mark for raising awareness on this issue. And thanks for mentioning the Canadian Intern Association too!

To read more about British Columbia’s employment laws surrounding internships visit check out this article by employment lawyer Andrew Langille and the BC Ministry of Labour Interpretation Guides Manual.