Have you considered adding students to your workforce? If not, you could be missing out on the best of future talent. Facilitating internships and apprenticeships at businesses offers benefits to students, the community and the business itself, and is essential for the success of Australian industry. 

Key benefits of facilitating internships and apprenticeships at your business

Employing students through internships or apprenticeships allows your business to: 

  • Connect with future work-ready graduates
  • Absorb new thinking and ideas
  • Build a talent pipeline
  • Fill gaps for short term projects 
  • Improve the mentoring skills of employees 
  • Boost work culture and;
  • Build connections with universities 

According to an Ai Group survey in 2014, employers are highly dissatisfied with the employability skills of recruited graduates, especially in the areas of self-management, problem

solving and teamwork. By exposing students to work experience, they can implement their learning in a real-world setting, develop new skills and improve their employability upon graduation. 

This last point is highly valuable for employers, as they may have the chance to employ students in a permanent capacity upon the completion of their studies. Students are likely to feel a sense of loyalty towards your business if they have had a positive internship or apprenticeship experience, and will wish to add further value to your business. 

Through internships and apprenticeships, employers also have the opportunity to mould future talent in accordance with the skills they need. You can, to a great extent, control the training your staff receives to meet the needs of your business and fill critical skills shortages. 

Not only do apprenticeships and internships help your business, but they also have a greater industry-wide effect. Speaking specifically about apprenticeships, Ai Group CEO Innes Willox commented that “apprenticeships, particularly in high skilled trades, are of crucial and continuing importance to the Australian economy. The skills developed and nurtured within an apprenticeship become the essential and highly-valued, applied trade, technical and business skills that underpin a very sizeable part of our productive economy.” Increased collaboration between universities and industry is necessary for both parties to flourish, with work-integrated learning being key to this. 

Ways to facilitate students at your business 

Whether short-term or long-term, student involvement in your business is worthwhile for both parties. Some of the ways to connect with students include: 

  • Getting involved in a case study assignment 
  • Assigning projects or activities to students like having them conduct research or assist with an event 
  • Placing students in new or established roles 
  • Having students “shadow” you or your employees 
  • Opening up your workplace to student excursions 
  • Guest speaking in a class 
  • Engaging a group of students to solve a problem for your business 
  • Enlisting the help of research candidates to conduct projects 

Remember that students will require guidance, support and feedback for maximum benefit to your company. This can be done by: 

  • Inducting students into your company by discussion your mission, history, challenges, OH&S procedures etc. 
  • Outlining students’ rights and responsibilities 
  • Being clear on expectations and the type of work they will undertake 
  • Assigning an employee to act as a mentor or supervisor 
  • Assigning a buddy who can help the student blend into the social and cultural aspects of the company 
  • Ensuring the student feels welcome and included 
  • Providing maximum exposure by including the student in meetings, presentations etc. 
  • Checking in on their progress 

In order to get the ball rolling, we suggest contacting local educational institutions and speaking to the team that facilitate work integrated learning and student placements. It’s best to enter the conversation knowing what specific projects or roles could be made available to students, the support and mentoring you are able to provide students, and a timeline. The work will be more beneficial to students if theory and practical learning experiences are combined in the form of work-integrated learning, so it is well worth discussing curriculum requirements with university staff as well. 

Bear in mind that depending on the engagement, you may have to pay the student. Make sure to go over the relevant Fair Work regulations to determine whether the placement counts as an employment relationship or not. If you are required to pay the student for their work, a wage concession will often be applicable. 

Ai Group Talent Solutions offer an industry-leading Higher Apprenticeships program to equip your workforce with the talent of the future. Our selection process and management of apprentices and trainees ensure you get to reap the benefits of a placement that delivers productivity and quality. 

With this specialised STEM talent, you can add the best and brightest minds to your workforce, benefiting from their fresh perspectives and innovative thinking. As apprentices are working towards a Diploma and Associate Degree in Applied Technologies through hands-on, work-based competencies and off-the-job training, your business can benefit from a higher calibre of talent than otherwise possible from an apprenticeship. Our Higher Apprenticeship program combines the best qualities of a university degree and vocational qualification, adding truly well-rounded talent to your team. 

Ai Group Talent Solutions help people and organisations move into a new era of work with the nation’s leading STEM talent. Whether you are looking for grads and interns or highly experienced apprentices who are in the process of upskilling, Ai Group Talent Solutions can ensure you excel in the competitive global market. 

Contact us today to find out more about our placements. 

E: talent@aigroup.com.au

P: 1300 436 088