Working for free or for 'exposure' is a sore subject in the design community, but, sadly, one that crops way too often. This morning, designers all over the globe are infuriated by a career listing from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), which asks for graphic design volunteer (opens in new tab).
The SAHMRI website describes the role as 'a great opportunity for a Graphic Design student who wishes to gain some great experience and start an exciting portfolio of their work'. It goes on to include a detailed list of requirements and key attributes the 'lucky' applicant should have.
The volunteer agreement attached to the job listing (opens in new tab) also clearly states:
"The Volunteer Graphic Designer at SAHMRI is a volunteer position. This means that you perform all duties on a voluntary basis, of your own free will, and you will not receive payment for your work. You are not an employee of SAHMRI and you are not entitled to a salary or any other entitlements associated with employment."
The post was noticed by designer and CEO of AGDA (opens in new tab), Nic Eldridge, who quickly took to Twitter to express his distain...
When a major organisation decides they don’t want to pay for ‘graphics’ : https://t.co/vXKGZkdVbmOutrageous.@sahmriAU #corevaluesMarch 8, 2017
...which quickly lead to a number of other creatives voicing similar opinions:
@oscar7g @fairwork_gov_au How can they maintain “A high level of professionalism” when by that definition it means they should be paid?!?March 8, 2017
@oscar7g @sahmriAU yeah this is bullshit. No one should apply for this. cc / @oi_nahhh read the thread.March 8, 2017
@oscar7g @sahmriAU professionalism sans the profession.March 8, 2017
Eldridge states that he plans to respond to the listing, but, for now, commented that the most important thing is raising awareness for young designers:
@nhallam We’ve got a number of responses planned, but our main effort today is to alert young designer to the fact that this is not ok.March 8, 2017
What's your opinion on major organisations targeting students for unpaid design work? Add your comment to our Facebook post.