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Poorly planned internship programmes can suffer from a lack of structure, variety and stimulating tasks for interns to perform independently - all of which can lead to boredom and frustration in capable young people looking for opportunities to develop their potential. Some will become disillusioned and decide to change course and pursue other career paths.

The internship toolkit provides companies with guidelines on how to create meaningful opportunities in a cost-effective way. Employers that offer a well thought out, high quality internship programme can rest assured that they will get back out what they put in - notably, interns that match their business needs and can work in line with their ethos.

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Internships also help staff improve their training and interpersonal skills through interaction with young people who have never done the job before.

These are all benefits accruing to the firm whether the intern stays on after the end of the internship or not. Additionally, if both intern and employer wish it, the employer stands to benefit from a highly motivated young person who is already familiar with their services, client base and ways of working joining their firm on a more permanent basis. A considerable amount of the risk and uncertainty usually associated with hiring new staff will have been taken out of that decision.

Hundreds of businesses are currently being given the opportunity to train up experienced candidates and immerse them in their culture, ethos and ways of doing business. They are also being given the opportunity of selecting the best candidates early. The FSP welcomes applications from employers in any of the GFC’s seven centres of operation and is currently especially interested to hear from employers in Birmingham and Edinburgh.

For young people, whether hired permanently or not, an internship is of great benefit. It gives them insight into what is expected of them in a workplace environment typical of their chosen industry sector and of the world of work in general.

Furthermore, internships help them to improve their employability skills. Given the current employment prospects for young people, the development of such skills can only assist them in getting closer to securing their dream jobs.

The Federation of Small Businesses recently reported that the majority of small business owners find young people are not business aware and do not have the skills they require in the workplace. The GFC addresses precisely this gap by offering a structured programme giving young people the opportunity to acquire skills that will help ready them to start work in an SME in the financial services sector.

The FSP’s internship toolkit is just one of a number of online toolkits offered to its small partner members which currently includes ones on apprenticeships, work experience, and training & competence. Currently under development is one on supervision to support training and competence and another on finance.