Wired Sussex launched the Brighton Internship Programme in 2007 with funding from Brighton and Hove City Council. The scheme ran for 2 years and forms the basis for the present programme, which expanded geographically to include the whole of Sussex.
Our Internship Programmes delivered real value to both participating companies and interns. We worked hard with the companies to ensure that they understood the responsibilities of hosting an intern and also that they were able to derive real benefit from the process. We ensured that the graduate applicants received an experience from which they will positively benefit and which would act as a first step along their career path.
This attention to detail meant that the scheme proved to be very successful, with around half of all interns receiving employment offers from participating companies.
The success allowed us to broaden the scope of the programme and new funding secured in partnership with the University of Sussex from Hefce, SEEDA and BHCC led to the creation of the much bigger Sussex Internship Programme. The scheme delivered over 100 internships in a variety of professions.
An internship programme that works
All internship programmes look to deal with the challenge that it is hard to get a job without experience, but you can’t get that experience without a job. The key elements of our programme included:
- We advised each participating company on how to benefit from having new graduate talent at their company.
- We agreed a specific project that the intern will be engaged with. This ensured that they don’t end up just making tea and doing photocopying.
- Graduate applicants had to apply for a specific internship with a specific company, submitting a CV and covering letter (and where relevant, a portfolio). They were interviewed and shortlisted. This ensured that the process was as much like applying for a real job as possible.
- We endeavoured to supply additional training to the successful interns, relevant to their placement.
Why we did it...
Our aim was to match graduates with primarily the smaller Sussex companies so that:
- Issues of graduate under-employment and unemployment could be addressed
- Smaller creative businesses could benefit from engaging with a new graduate. Graduates can gain invaluable real world experience in their chosen field
The programme’s success is credited to:
- Companies who trusted us to find the talent they need
- Graduates with enthusiasm and potential who applied to be interns
- Funding from Brighton and Hove City Council, SEEDA and HEFCE
- Effective partnership between Wired Sussex and University of Sussex
- 100% commitment of everyone involved