What people don’t appreciate about paid interns and unpaid internships is that they continue to keep salaries low for years, both for whoever is on the internship and whoever is working in an industry that uses them.
It works like this… if you are the intern being paid nothing, you accept whatever payment you are offered as your first salary, however low. Your salary is artificially low, because an increase on nothing is a massive increase. Even when you get a raise, it is probably only what you should have been paid in the first place. Then when the next place offers you a wage on whatever you were paid at your last place, your salary is still low. Anyone else they look to hire seems expensive,so you either get the job or the other person is forced to compromise if they want the position. People dont talk about salaries with their colleagues which makes the matter worse.
It can be five, six years before stuff evens out for folk. Those working in industries that use interns need to stop taking this in silence. We need to club together and demand a decent wage for interns and people starting at the bottom of an organisation. We need to not let it happen especially now we are coming out of the recession.