As part of the Career Ready Plus Programme, over 1,000 young people across the UK have experienced a paid, four-week internship at some of the country’s top employers, helping to level the playing field and boost social mobility. 

Our internships 

Throughout July and August, we’ve worked with over 275 employers – ranging from SMEs in Elgin to MNCs in Canary Wharf – to provide young people on our Plus Programme with paid, four-week internships. 

Research shows that four weeks, or 140 hours, is the minimum time needed for a young person to fully experience and benefit from the world of work.

Our internships are paid to help level the social mobility playing field and ensure that our young people, who come from a range of disadvantaged backgrounds, are able to fully benefit from the experience. 

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Every intern has their own supervisor who acts as a line-manager, and we ensure that a member of school/college staff visits each student during their internship. 

From learners to leaders 

Being able to experience four-weeks of real, paid employment enables our young people to develop the skills, qualities and experience needed for the world of work. 

  • 91% said that their internship was invaluable.
  • 90% said they feel confident about their career skills following their internship.
  • 84% said that they feel more motivated to work harder at school/college because of their internship.

It’s also a great way for our employers to tap into young, diverse talent and develop their existing staff: 

  • 82% of students would consider working for their internship employer in the future.
  • 80% of employers felt their intern added value to their organisation. 
  • 70% of internship supervisors said that their coaching skills had improved.

Why paid internships are vital  

We believe that every young person, regardless of background, should have the same opportunity to enjoy a successful and rewarding future. However, top jobs continue to be dominated by those from privileged backgrounds: 

  • People from better-off backgrounds being 80% more likely to be in a professional job than their working-class peers. 
  • Those from upper-middle-class backgrounds will earn 16% more annually than those from working-class backgrounds – even in the same job.
  • Graduates from privileged backgrounds who get 2:2s are still more likely to get a top job than working-class students who went to the same universities and got a 1st. 

By providing our young people, who come from a range of disadvantaged backgrounds, with paid four-week internships, they are able to develop the skills, qualities, and experience needed to compete against their more privileged peers. 

I’ve honestly had the best time on my internship and I couldn’t have been placed at a better organisation! The skills and confidence I have gained during the four-weeks are evident to myself and the people who I’ve worked with.

Abbie Whitehead | Queensferry Community High School, Edinburgh | Intern at The Scottish Government 

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