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Unpaid Work Experience in Australia Report - December 2016

Workplace relations
Publication date

A report on the prevalence, nature and impact of unpaid work experience in Australia

On 22 December 2016, the Department released a report on the prevalence, nature and impact of unpaid work experience in Australia. The report, which was based on the results of a nationally representative survey of 3,800 Australians aged 18-64 years, found that unpaid work experience is common in Australia. Many of the survey results were positive, for example:

  • 71 per cent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their most recent episode of unpaid work experience;
  • 70 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they had developed relevant skills and new knowledge as a result of their unpaid work experience; and
  • 27 per cent were offered a job by their host organisation following their most recent period of unpaid work experience.

The Department commissioned academics from three universities to conduct the survey in 2015. The research was undertaken to inform the Department about the prevalence, characteristics and employment outcomes of unpaid work experience in Australia, particularly given the lack of empirical evidence in this area.