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Paid internships

Let’s invest in young, diverse talent and put young people at the heart of our Covid recovery.

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What we do

One good intern…

For 20 years, our paid work placements, as part of our post-16 careers programme, have given young people the opportunity to develop vital career skills and employers the chance to attract diverse, local talent.

To invest in the Covid Generation, we’re unlocking the world of work for 1,200 young people this summer through paid internships.

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From one GCSE to a first-class degree, that’s my story. I don’t know where I’d be in life if it wasn’t for my internship at Citi.

Daniel Clarke
Intern at Citi 

of interns said their internship helped develop key employability skills
of interns said their internship had a positive impact on their life
of employers said their intern added value to their organisation
of employers would hire their Career Ready intern
Success stories

My eyes were opened to opportunities on my doorstep. My internship gave me an insight into an industry and a place to practice my skills. That internship has now turned into an apprenticeship.

Emily, Tees Valley
Intern at PD Ports

Student stories
why we do it

Young people will be the driver of our COVID recovery, we must have a response which puts them at its heart.

Sandy Begbie CBE,
CEO, Scottish Financial Enterprise

Investing in Generation Covid

Young people need workplace support like never before, we can’t risk a generation of lost talent.

Our mission is to invest in the young, diverse talent which will make up our future workforce.

In partnership with employers we want to put young people at the heart of our economic recovery from Covid.

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Early investment

Our internships are not undergraduate or graduate schemes, they are four-week placements for young people aged 16-18.

By supporting young people, before they have left education, we can make the biggest difference. The sooner we act, the bigger the returns. 

Early investment means that young people are better able to develop core employability skills, boost their academic attainment, and find the right career path for them.

Fair pay, fair play 

Paid opportunities are critical in creating fair access to the workplace.

Internships are often a required step onto the career ladder, yet unpaid opportunities exclude talented young people who don’t have the means to work without pay.

That’s why we ask all our employer partners to pay their interns. Together, we can level the playing field, boost social mobility, and diversify talent in the workplace.

Success stories

Having a young person’s perspective on our marketing and communications has proved to be a real asset. And having talented individuals from the Career Ready programme contribute to projects has added real value.

Sally Dillon,
Optimisation Lead, Aviva

Employer stories
How it works

A month of structured activity

Our internships are held in the summer holidays between schools years 12/13 and can include a blend of remote and office-based placements.

We understand the challenges our employer supporters are facing. Our structured month of online learning and insight sessions  are here to support and supplement all internship offers – hopefully making it that bit easier to say, “yes.” 

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Virtual experiences enabled us to provide support in situations where there might have otherwise been none. It was far more impactful than we anticipated and the development we saw was amazing.

Fiona Keady
Our network

A network investing in young talent

Since 2002, we have worked with employers of all sizes and sectors to provide young people with high-quality, paid internships.

Whether you’re an SME or a MNC, you can play a direct role in equipping the next generation.

Hundreds of employers have already shown their commitment to young talent this year – will you join them?

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Internships are key in creating a pipeline. It’s no longer about photocopying and shadowing, we make sure they are part of the team.  It’s also a great opportunity for staff to develop their skills. I couldn’t recommend it more.

Nina Hughes
Wates Group 

Paid internships are an opportunity to meet new minds, innovate faster, and build relationships with future tech talent. Paid internships are the route to true diversity in thought and, well, that wins.

Rory Brown
Co-founder & COO, Kluster
Success stories

Success stories

Hear first-hand from our former interns and our network of employers who have provided paid opportunities: stories of transformation and development for both our students and their employers. 

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Let’s get started…

Fill in the form and we’ll be in touch to discuss opportunities for your business.


Additional information

To ensure the smooth running of internships and that it is a valuable experience for all, we work closely with employers to create a straight forward programme of activity.

When internships take place

We recommend that all paid internships take place at the following dates:

  • England, Wales, Northern Ireland: Monday 11 July onwards
  • Scotland: Monday 21 June onwards

We recognise that some employers may require flexibility, and it is left to each school/college to agree suitable dates with these employers at a local level. However, all internships must have been completed by Friday 27 August 2021.

What we ask of employers

  • Provide a formal interview experience
  • Provide a planned programme of activity to enhance the student’s skills
  • Assign a line manager to supervise the student’s work and provide feedback
  • Organise an event at the end of the experience where the student can present what they have learnt

How we support you

  • Provide template job descriptions and suggested projects
  • Provide internship supervisor training ahead of placements
  • Provide an Internship Toolkit to help you run the placements smoothly
  • Stay in contact with you and the student to support you throughout
  • Ensure the student is visited during their internship, including to watch their end of internship presentation. This will be by a member of Career Ready team or a member of school staff.

Want to know more? Get in touch with a member of our team. 

Our paid internships are your opportunity to gain vital workplace experience, develop new skills, and build a professional network. 

What an internship can offer you

  • Valuable hands-on experience of work in a real situation
  • See if an area of work matches your skills, interests and aspirations
  • Meet new people and expand your network of contacts
  • Develop new skills and competencies
  • Increase your understanding of how an organisation operates
  • Understand how what you are studying applies to the world of work
  • Become more confident
  • Improve your CV, your employability and your future life chances

How it works

  • Held over a fixed period of time in the summer holidays between Y12 and Y13 
  • You’ll be paid (at least) the minimum wage 
  • A real job interview process 
  • You’ll be provided with a job description and real responsibilities

How we support you 

We know that entering the world of work can be daunting, that’s why wer’re on hand to support you every step of the way: 

  • Preparing for work masterclass
  • Insight sessions
  • Interview tips and guidance 
  • A toolkit to help you throughout your placement 
  • Visit from Career Ready team and/or school staff 

Want to know more? Speak to your school coordinator about any questions you may have. 

We work closely with every school and college to manage our internships and deliver life-changing outcomes for learners.

How it works 

We will utilise our relationships with national employers to secure opportunities for students in our partner schools, but there is no guarantee of the number of placements we can provide.

We recommend that all paid internships take place at the following dates:

  • England, Wales, Northern Ireland: Monday 11 July onwards
  • Scotland: Monday 21 June onwards

There is a set application process for all national internships which coordinators and students must follow. Students will be asked to update their application for the programme and confirm they are happy for their details to be used for internships. You will also be asked for a Coordinator’s reference for each student.

Benefits to your learners

  • Valuable hands-on experience of work in a real situation
  • See if an area of work matches their skills, interests and aspirations
  • Professional contacts
  • New workplace Skills and competencies
  • Increased understanding of the world of work
  • Understand how academic subjects applyto the world of work
  • New-found confidence
  • Valuable experience for their CV

Benefits to your school/college

  • Meet Gatsby Benchmarks 1,5, 6 for Good Career Guidance 
  • A structured work experience programme for your students 
  • Engagement with local and national employers