From comments immediately below (so I won't link):
... [A] current failing in unions, who don't see it as their responsibility to help define the proper break-in path of newbies (and make sure that there are viable paths). The union members say the responsibility of the union is only to their current dues-paying members, and in my opinion that is short-sighted and wrong. And will continue to lead to non-union newbies undermining the union because they need to do whatever they can to try to break in. Until the unions take on a responsibility for people trying to break into the biz, I don't see how they can complain.
As big a union supporter as I am, I think this aspect of only being responsible to the current dues-paying members and not to the profession as a whole is a disgrace.
In reality, many unions take responsibility for "people breaking in" all the time, and work like hell to build bridges into the industry.
It's called "organizing."
In the time I've been here, we've organized a wide range of studios ... and attempted to organize a hell of a lot more. A large numbber of artists working in these places were new to the industry, and we offered them a route in via a new contract.
But forget the organizing angle if you like. Over the years, the TAG staff has provided help and advice to hundreds of aspiring artists who've come through the door; nine years ago, we went to bat for a group of Filipino artists -- new to town and non-union -- who were being abused by a predatory talent agent. The California Labor Commission ultimately put the agent out of business, ruling that the guy was operating illegally, and TAG was the entity that paid the lawyer who helped to do it. Beyond that, for the past thirty years we've offered low-cost industry and craft classes to all comers, and assisted hundreds of artists to gain a toe hold in animation land.
The whole point of unions and guilds is to lift everyone. Some unions do it better than others, but no labor organization is going to survive long term if it doesn't pay attention to people trying to break into the business and help them along.
It's been that way since I broke in to the animation industry thirty-odd years ago, and it's true now.