From all accounts, the Government‘s new PaTH internship program sucks whale dick. It is not a good time.
If you reckon it’s hard enough to motivate yourself to get out of bed to work the job you already have, imagine how fucking impossible it would be to do the same knowing that every hour you work is only bringing in around $4. Imagine doing that for three months.
Well, that’s what the government is proposing. Supposedly, the internships will allow job seekers to gain skills and make themselves more employable, but, as Interns Australia succinctly expressed, the sort of skills you’re gaining should be part of on the job training and you shouldn’t have to go through three months of below-minimum-wage work to get them:
“My first job was at Bakers Delight. I didn’t need to do unpaid work experience for 12 weeks to learn how to do it. Nobody needs to. After a short period, you are performing productive work and deserve to be paid for it as an employee.”
Bakers Delight is cited here because it, alongside the Coffee Club, was one of the first large companies to sign up for the program.
While it might be a shitty deal for job seekers, it’s a pretty sick deal for employers. According to the Department of Employment, if a job seeker is sent to fill in your internship listing, you receive a staff member who will work between 15 – 25 hours a week for you (shift work and weekends included) for absolutely zilch. That’s right, the measly $4 an hour they’re getting is coming from the government, and you don’t have to pay them squat.
On top of that, you get a lovely, one-off $1,000 payment to help “cover the costs of hosting an intern“. And, in the unlikely event that you choose to hire them instead of just saying they were a ‘bad fit’ and sending off for a new
slave intern, you could receive up to $10,000 as a wage subsidy.
If you’re the sort of person who enjoys exploiting very-nearly-unpaid labour and getting rich quick from government rebate scams, good news: it’s pretty easy to sign yourself up to employ you some interns.
FYI anyone can create an internship for the government’s new PaTH program. I just made one to check. All you need is an ABN number.
— Eliza Berlage (@verbaliza) July 4, 2017
Yep, if you’ve got an ABN sitting around from when you decided you were going to finally become a professional photographer, you too can create an internship listing.
The only requirements listed on the PaTH website for business eligibility are that you can provide them with “structured and meaningful” work and that there is a real chance that you could hire them if the internship works out.
There doesn’t seem to be any assessment or regulation of the ads that are posted, although if the internship you have offered is completely bogus, I can’t imagine that third-parties placing prospective interns in internships would really place someone at a listing called “haha this is just for the money, we’re just gonna smoke weed and play Nintendo brah“.
Please do not try doing rebate scams at home, I don’t want to have to field angry letters from lawyers.
Photo: Getty Images / Stefan Postles.