Overt at The Watercooler, a forum on the British film industry, there’s an entire section [update: broken link] for posts on unpaid jobs – whether they are called internships or else. The debate is well-informed and heated at times. The industry is hit hard there as much as anywhere else and people who want to enter the industry are getting frustrated, with good reasons.
There’s an informative thread answering some common question about regulations, volunteers and competition.
The issue is that many Film and TV companies are breaking the law with regard to not paying young people the National Minimum Wage where it is due. They will take on someone as a “runner” or “work experience” (using the claim that it is “good for your CV” or “good experience”) and then not pay them. This is illegal. Every worker (with a few minor exceptions) is entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for every hour they work.
It’s worth noting that SWEAT stands for “Stop Working Experience Abuse Today”. Have a look at the list of successes that they claim.