A solution to unpaid internships for early career creatives

A state funded work placement for young professionals could help them get a foot in the industry instead of working for free.

$13,000 for a three-month placement in the creative industries is what the Northern Territory is offering its young artists and arts workers aged 18 – 25, under the flag of its NXT Gen ARTS grants program.

Gaining hands on experience is integral for early career creative professionals but the issue of unpaid internships is rife in the sector. While these opportunities are a gateway to hands on experience and a tick in the box on CVs, it is also a barrier of entry for many who cannot afford to work for free.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. She took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs and was the project manager of ArtsHub’s diverse writers initiative, Amplify Collective. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram @lleizy_