… graduates are not cheap labor and should never be treated as such or we risk hemorrhaging talent while it is still embryonic. Consider this, you employ Mr. X. He’s the greatest graphics programmer you’ve ever seen, but he’s a bit green and so you get to pay him peanuts and work him to the bone. Eventually he will wise up and leave, and when he does he’ll probably move out of the industry that burned him. The industry has then lost him forever — not just your studio.
I have similar issues with ‘free work’ in the illustration and graphic design field. A lot of the jobs advertised on the newly redeveloped Arts Jobs website look for ‘recent graduates looking to gain experience’ or something similar in exchange for working for nothing or paying very little. What experience do you gain? Experience of being messed around! Luckily my own experiences haven’t deterred me.
I must say I’m very surprised that there isn’t (to my knowledge) some organisation that ensures people are being employed or volunteering under fair conditions