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Abusing the graduates

I have been reading UK based GD forums all over and there seems to be a reoccurring theme of grads having to work for nothing on an intern, placement or trial just to get their foot in the door.

So this is directed more to designers who have graduated and went through this having to work for nothing chaos.

Do you find many design companies abuse this "free work" to lure in fresh grads in and get them-self some free labor. Afterwords kicking them out to the curb with a smile and a smug "thank you" just so they can go hire a NEW sucker grad to work for nothing.

Reason for my concern is once I arrive in the UK I have 3 months to find work or it is game over. The worst thing is finding a no-pay internship that uses me and spits me out gobbling up some of my short precious 3 months I have to find actual paying work.



Active Member
Why do you want to come to the UK for? There are far better countries out there with far better prospects of finding paid design jobs.
US??? forget that

UK because my grampa was born there so I have much better visa options. That and the best party scene in the world. The US is too similar to Canada so it wouldn't allow me to diversify my style. I want to go somewhere with a culture change.

Still curious about my initial question


Staff member
phoenixcinder said:
I want to go somewhere with a culture change.
so explain to me why you're coming to the uk again..... if you want a culture change you need to head somewhere that isn't so linked with the US/Canada.

As to your concerns (no offence intended to person here) - the UK is in a recession, there are barely enough jobs for people born here with all the current migrant workers.
Design is a hard field to get into in the first place and the current climate is making most businesses tighten their belts so if I'm honest your chances of paid work are pretty much non existent.

edit: forgot to say, I was talking with a mate about how many of our uni graduates (we're a year apart) we knew who were actually in a design field, we knew of 6 (including us) out of around 100 students.


Senior Member
In the grand scheme, placements/working for free is a good way to test the waters. Yes, there are certain agencies who obviously abuse it. Sadly it seems to be the way of things.