working placement

My friend is a fashion designer. She graduated las year with top marks and she thought that it was going to be easy for her to find a job. Well, I guess that was her first mistake. Her outstanding grades were persistently ignored. Her CV constantly revoked. So, after so many frustrated attemps, and moved by desperation, she decided to apply for a working placement thinking that it could enhance her experience whilst awaiting to obtain a job. I cannot say that that was easy either, but after several denials, she managed to receive a positive answer. The door was slightly opening and she quickly put her foot on it.
Two weeks alter, she moved to London and began working on the small studio preparing the collectio for this year’s London Fashion Week. Since she was doing a placement, she was not going to earn any money, nor have any contract, but if that was the way to start on that business, she was willing to accept it. Besides, if there was no contract, there would not be any obligation, either, she thought. And that was her second and biggest mistake.
On her first working day she discovered the truth behind the so-called placements.
On her first day, she found out that not only she was required to work at least 10 hours per day with no consistent shift, nor any established breaks, but also that she was going to be treated with desdain, as a necessary evil and, henceforth, being ignored and relegated to do secondary (but nonetheless necessary) tasks.
And she was not alone.
Several students were receiving the same treatment and their situation was even worst, because they had to do it as a part of their university coursework, hence they could not complain. My friend could, but she did not hoping that the situation would improve after a few days.
One week later, though, things were the same; they were hand-sewing all the last details tot the delicate fabrics, they were making sure that there were no deffects on the pieces and they were distributing the garments to the right shops. And that, is called working for free. And that could be considered explotation. Recently, Primark has been under suspicious of utilising under-paid workers from Third-World countries to produce their items. My friend is not only unpaid, but forced to work till late. Is that the goal of working placements? To provide free labour to designers so they can produce their collections and thus keep more money for themselves? Is it true that my friend can consider herself lucky as she was in one of the best studios for placements, according to her workmates?
In any case, I just know that when I watch the next Fashion Show I will only be able tot picture my friend sewing those garments for nothing, whilst the designer smile satisfied for his/her job. I will only see the unrewarded effort of so many students and I could only wish that their sacriffice is going to benefit them on the long term, and that they will remember their suffering and, should they become designers, will be able to treat those doing placements with more respect.

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