Internship Programmes for Small Businesses

Before you think about implementing an Internship programme, you need to think about what an Internship really is, who would be involved and what your role as the employer would be. Internships are often associated with part-time jobs, however they are two quite different things.


What is the difference between an intern and an employee

On a day-to-day basis, the role of the employer is to hire employees who typically already have some sort of desired skill set, whereas an employer’s role with an intern is to train rather than hire. What do we mean by ‘train’? Well, that is a good question. An intern typically has no previous skill within your sector, instead they are interested in beginning a career and are looking for some hands on experience. Rather than being left to their own devices, an intern needs to work alongside an existing employee to enable them to learn and be trained. Internships are usually taken by students to learn a specific trade before finishing School/College/University and sometimes lead to a permanent position.


So what can an intern do for me?

As mentioned previously, interns tend to be straight out of education looking for hands on experience, so chances are they will be willing to work hard so they can get as much practical experience as possible. They will be willing to try out all areas of the business as this will give them a chance to see which aspects they enjoy more/excel at. For the employer this is a positive as it means your intern can help the rest of the team with projects and tasks meaning they will be completed quicker than usual. An extra pair of hands is always an advantage! There’s also a great opportunity for public recognition as you will be supporting the local community and giving students the opportunity to start their career, starting an internship programme is a great way to get coverage for your small business.


What happens after the internship?

Now this is completely up to you. Some internships are purely for a set period of time, whilst others lead to a permanent role. It completely depends on the needs of your business. If you can accommodate another permanent position then an internship is a great way to get to know a possible candidate, as it allows you to establish someone’s work ethic, skill set and personality before committing to giving them a permanent role and then finding out that they aren’t right for you and your business.


I want to start an internship programme; what do I need to consider before proceeding? 

Before you set up an internship programme, you need to ensure that you are covered by your insurance. By law, you are required to take out liability insurance for people who you employ. If you have already taken out a relevant policy, it is important that you check with your insurer that an Intern is covered, your policy may need reviewing even if you take on an Intern for a short period of time.

Is your business covered for Interns? Get in touch with The Insurance Octopus for a quote on a bespoke business insurance package tailored to your needs.