Work experience you have to pay for. Seriously.

It’s not news that interns get paid either sod all or next to sod all (otherwise known as minimum wage, or ‘expenses only’). That’s one thing, and indeed a whole heated argument in itself.

But this takes the cake. A website, called Etsio (any copyright claim there, Etsy?) which exists purely to advertise internships that you have to pay for. Oh yes. Take a look at some of the ‘great opportunities’ they’re offering (click to enlarge):

“Fee to be paid by the intern” are not words that should be seen together.

Shame on you, ‘a fish in sea‘ (shit name, by the way).

A design agency charging for an internship? Literally every designer ever has had to do work experience, which means the gits who founded this company should bloody well behave better.

I will be berating them on twitter, and so should you.

This one wins the prize. Why yes, I’d LOVE to pay £266 a day to learn how to book a flight!

That works out to minus £13,000 a year. Negative salaries! What a concept.

You might wonder, as I did, how Etsio justify their horribly exploitative business model. Well, here’s how (from their FAQs):

Why should I pay for a job?

You aren’t paying for a job. You’re buying experience and paying for training. It helps you improve your CV, makes you more attractive to an employer, and even helps you decide if you want to start your own business.

We provide a link between you and small businesses, so you can see at first hand whether that profession is right for you. These businesses are difficult to reach, because they don’t have big HR departments organising internship programmes, nor do they normally offer work experience.

Most applicants we come across don’t have any experience that would make them useful to our employers. And remember that our work experience clients are putting themselves at risk by exposing their trade secrets, customers and inside information to you. That isn’t the kind of experience that you can get elsewhere


Shouldn’t employers pay interns?

Major corporations take interns, because they can afford to, and mostly they pay them. But small companies simply don’t take interns. If you want work experience with the kind of small, exciting professions we deal with, we have to incentivise them to give you work experience. And that means paying them.

What utterly shameless bastards.  ‘Small, exciting professions’ like dog grooming! ‘Companies that are difficult to reach’ like design agencies! What the hell.

I sincerely hope no-one ever uses Etsio, and they go bust within the year. Whereupon they’ll hopefully have to pay someone to let them clean toilets and lick boots.


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