ACCA Ireland in association with CIT’s Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence recently produced a best practice guide to internships in Ireland
Published on: Saturday, 19 September 2015
The overwhelming feedback indicates that employers need to provide more internship opportunities for graduates. Experience must be relevant and stimulating and interns expect to remunerated fairly. Almost 300 employers and students contributed to the research for the guide which was conducted over a 12 month period.
The research found that while over half of employers value the importance of the internship model as an important recruitment tool, only 40% of employers actually have an internship model in place. The preferred duration of an internship for the majority of employers (over 66%), is six months, from January to June, with the option to spend the summer months in situ.
Commenting on the findings, Liz Hughes, Head of ACCA Ireland, said: “Our students were very clear on how employers can play a pivotal role in their future careers; internships prepare students for the business world and equip them with the knowledge to make an informed decision regarding their career. Employers empower students to become future employees.” Internship programmes also stand to benefit businesses in a variety of ways as the research highlighted. Identifying and developing future talent was seen as being the most significant advantage but employers also recognised that interns bring fresh ideas, new thinking and provide additional capacity to businesses.
Hughes added: “It is encouraging that organisations recognise the value of having a formal internship model in place; however, over 60% of employers have no internship model in place, and this is something which needs to be addressed. To that end, ACCA Ireland is calling on all organisations to have a formal internship model in place by year end. Employers looking to develop a viable internship model for their business are advised to download our internship guide which was published today and has very practical recommendations on how businesses should go about hiring an intern.”
Dr Breda Kenny, CIT Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence added: “Employers are now beginning their recruiting efforts in advance of graduation. Internships are also used to establish early contact and gain extended exposure to students and Higher Education Institutions. The growth, popularity and benefits of internships merit attention from SMEs as well as large businesses. This guide provides research evidence from both the employer and student perspective and provides practical information on implementing an internship programme for any type and size of business or organisation.”