In the news and on the BBC News Website this week I notice “Students should get work experience to boost their chances of getting jobs in the downturn, the head of the CBI says. Richard Lambert says students must get skills and first-hand experience of work while still at university. Launching a report with Universities UK on preparing graduates for work, Mr Lambert will say competition for jobs in 2009 will be particularly intense. Of the 581 recruiters surveyed for the report, 78% rated employability skills, such as team working, as essential.
And of the 80 higher education institutions which responded to the report’s survey, 91% thought it likely or highly likely their graduates would acquire five out of the seven desired employability skills while at university.
EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS INCLUDE:
- Team working
- Business and customer awareness
- Problem solving
- Communication and literacy
- Application of numeracy
- Application of information technology
The report, Preparing graduates for the world of work, gives examples of how businesses and universities are working together to offer students work placements during their studies and to incorporate employability into courses. For example, at Surrey University 70% of undergraduates participate in “professional training” or workplace-based skills development, usually as the third year of a four-year course. This training is open to students studying all subjects, even those not traditionally regarded as vocational”.
This article came to my attention in the same week as my best friend is telling me that her graphic design student daughter has made a five year plan, to offer herself in her summer holidays, as an unpaid intern to top level companies around the world, which will look great on her CV, give her essential and practical workplace skills, and enable her to make valuable post-graduate contacts in the very world she wants to work in.
Good girl! Very pro-active and forward thinking – and what a refreshing change! She doesn’t think she deserves a living, but is going to do everything in her power to make it happen. She wants to work in high-end magazines as a creative director / graphic designer and places like Vogue & Tatler have long been filled with well-heeled youngsters working for nothing, in order to get that all-important name on their CV.
Similarly in the music industry, many of the creative staff at record labels, recording studios and management companies work for nothing to get experience, contacts and on the job knowledge.
We are currently looking for a Money Gym intern – a practice very common in the USA but not so much here in the UK – although Alan Sugar is all over the radio at the moment, promoting the Apprenticeship Programme – read some of the case studies and find out more here>>
The challenge with apprenticeship programmes is that they are highly regulated, with loads of paperwork involved. This puts off lots of smaller businesses.
Internships are less formal, often sorted out between the “old boys” or “old girls” network and benefit both parties. Wikipedia describes them thus:
“An intern or stagiaire is one who works in a temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment, making it similar to an apprenticeship. Interns are usually college or university students, but they can also be high school students or post graduate adults seeking skills for a new career. Student internships provide opportunities for students to gain experience in their field, determine if they have an interest in a particular career, create a network of contacts, or gain school credit. Internships provide the employers with cheap or free labor for (typically) low-level tasks (stereotypically including fetching coffee for the office), and also the prospect of interns’ returning to the company after completing their education and requiring little or no training.
An internship may be either paid, unpaid or partially paid (in the form of a stipend). Paid internships are most common in the medical, architecture science, engineering, law, business (especially accounting and finance), technology and advertising fields. Internships in non-profit organization such as charities and think tanks are often unpaid, volunteer positions. Internships may be part-time or full-time; typically they are part-time during the university year and full-time in the summer, and they typically last 6-12 weeks, but can be shorter or longer. The act of job shadowing may also constitute as interning.
Internship positions are available from businesses, government departments, non-profit groups and organizations. Due to strict labor laws, European internships, though mostly unpaid, are popular among non-Europeans to gain international exposure on one’s resume and for foreign language improvement.
Types of internships
An intern type means doing internship in an organization or in specific subject of study. Internships exist in various industries and settings. Here are two primary types of internships that exist in the United States.
1. Work experience internship: Most often this will be in the second or third year of the school period. The placement can be from 2 months to sometimes even one full school year. During this period the student is supposed to use the things he/she has learned in school and put it in practice. This way the student gets work experience in their field of study. The gained experience will be helpful to finish up the last year of the study.
2. Research internship (graduation) or dissertation internship: This is mostly done by students who are in their last year. With this kind of internship a student does research for a particular company. The company can have something that they feel like they need to improve, or the student can choose a topic within the company themselves. The results of the research study will be put in a report and often will have to be presented.
The practice of a mid-career person taking an internship (see Returnship) is relatively new to the U.S. but becoming more common due to the current economic crisis”
At The Money Gym, we have decided to look for an intern rather than outsource to the cheaper countries. Here’s the spec so far:
One energetic, bright, quick, action orientated, IT literate “Superstar” is to be offered the chance to work with Europe’s best wealth creation education company.
You give us your all for a year, and we teach you everything we can! There is no pay so you need to be financially independent or living at home with an allowance.
You will then either go off to work for someone else (at a very high salary because you will be so valuable), you can start your own business or become a highly paid freelance consultant who can expect to command upwards of £1000 per day.
You are ideally UK based within easy reach of London, and have a keen interest in wealth creation – or open to the idea.
You are desperate to learn how the whole world of wealth creation, property investing, internet marketing, event organising works, and you are outgoing, friendly and unflappable. You have a good computer at home and already use some of the Social Networking sites and are able to upload a short video to YouTube.
We are fast, fun, friendly and expect very high standards – we work hard and love what we do, and expect you to, too! Some weekend work occasionally is required as we host workshops at weekends sometimes.
Your “can-do” attitude and positivity will be infectious and you will have already demonstrated some success in your life, be that at school, work or in helping others.
Attitude is more important than experience and you would by no means describe yourself as “fluffy”.
We will be inviting you to upload a video to YouTube to tell us why you want the gig, but first, we want to see if we have covered everything in order to be able to attract the right person.
What else do you need to know from us in order to be able to convince us you are the right person for this fantastic opportunity?
This is the deal, if you have any questions or comments, please use the comments box on the blog to ask them.