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Preparing to host interns2022-05-25T14:34:32+00:00

Preparing to host
an intern

Everything employers
need to know for a

Thank you for your support


A paid internship is a vital experience for the young people on our Career Ready Post-16 Programme. They give young people the opportunity to develop vital career skills and experience, and employers the chance to attract diverse, local talent.

Held in the summer holidays between school years 12/13, they include a blend of remote and office-based placements.

We have prepared extensive guidance to help you provide a high-quality experience for young people and you as the host employer, including:

  • Internship model guidance
  • Support resources
  • FAQs
  • Case studies

Internship Supervisor Briefing

Mon 30 May, 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm

Internship Supervisor Briefing

Wed 01 June, 4.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Internship Supervisor Briefing

Wed 08 June, 4.00 pm - 5.00 pm

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. 

How they work

Structure snapshot

Full information on how to structure an internship can be found in our guidance document.

Key milestones and actions

Any unavoidable variation to start/end dates has implications which will benefit from a conversation with us.

Everything you need to know

The following guidance has been prepared to help support you in the delivery of your four-week paid internship(s). Thank you to all of you who have worked with us to shape this.

[ 23/05/22] We are currently experiencing technical issues with access to our resources. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We aim to have this resolved as soon as possible.

You will be given login details to our employer portal where you can submit, complete or approve job descriptions by the end of March, including a named internship supervisor for each student so they know who they will be working with. The job description is designed to give your student(s) an overview of the work they will be doing, and the skills required or to be developed. Training and support documents are available here.

Working hours regulation states that under 18s cannot work more than 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. Further guidance can be found on the ACAS website
We do not anticipate the virtual or blended internship will follow a traditional 9-5 full working day. We recommend a shortened day to prevent online fatigue, with scheduled meetings/sessions alongside tasks and projects.

In addition to providing important insights and experience of the world of work, the paid internship gives young people the opportunity to understand the recruitment process, from reading and understanding a job description to preparing for and attending an interview. 

We ask that all employers provide an interview experience to help prepare students for future job, college, and university applications.  Interviews can be conducted face to face or via your preferred online platform (MS Teams, Google Meet etc). This is potentially the first opportunity to meet each other and explain what the student can expect during the internship.  It is helpful if the internship supervisor can take part.  Interviews should ideally take place during May.

We have collated some sample, non-competitive interview questions which you may wish to use and there is further information on interviews here.

Internship supervisors will play a leading role in supporting students’ internship experience.

This is an excellent development opportunity too, giving staff an experience of management, and identifying people who are keen to be involved will be helpful.

Many employers also provide a dedicated day-to-day buddy for an intern, so that they have a go to person for any questions and support needed beyond the tasks / projects assigned.

Once you have identified supervisors, please ensure you provide them with guidance on areas such as:

  • inducting interns and providing all necessary resources for their role
  • developing learning objectives and goals with the intern
  • preparing other colleagues and team members to support the intern
  • evaluating progress and providing regular feedback
  • supporting the student to develop an end of internship presentation

We will invite all supervisors to participate in a virtual briefing in May/June which covers specific information about their role and the Career Ready programme. We will provide a handbook for supervisors to assist them in their role. More information about the role of internship supervisor can be found here.

All Career Ready students attend Masterclass 3: ‘Preparing for Work’ prior to their internship. Communication with students in advance of the start of the internship is key and helps the process run smoothly. More information about on-boarding and inductions can be found here.

Students benefit from delivering a presentation at the end of their internship, covering what they have learned from the experience and how they feel it has helped them to develop.  Many organisations use this as an opportunity to gather feedback too.  This is a great way for others in your organisation to appreciate the difference you are making to young people.  

Pre-Covid some employers have extended the employment relationship with an intern. This is not an expectation of the programme, and any arrangements are made entirely at the employer’s discretion.

If the internship you are offering in 2022 is virtual it would be wonderful, when possible, to invite your intern(s) into your place of work.  

We love it when you promote your involvement with Career Ready and highlight students’ internship achievements.  Articles in an internal newsletter/intranet, press releases, discussions at Chamber of Commerce meetings or other networking events helps to spread the word about your organisation’s involvement and can encourage other employers to get involved. 

Please also share and celebrate your involvement across your social media channels (tag us @CareerReadyUK).  We cannot wait to share what you post across our extensive network. 

We will share a promotional pack with you ahead of the start of internships.

We will be sending a feedback survey to you and your internship supervisors.  The feedback from these surveys really helps inform how future internships will work.

We are incredibly proud to work with our young people and seeing them develop throughout the programme and beyond is a great source of satisfaction to us. We support those who need a platform to reach their potential, working with young people who meet a combination of criteria, including the following:

  • Eligible for Free School Meals in the past six years
  • Parental occupation indicating lack of access to professional networks and/or low household income
  • No parental history of higher education
  • Physical, mental or learning disability
  • Experience of Local Authority care and/or estranged from family

The demographic data of our 2020-22 student cohort(s) are:

  • 61% will be the first in their family to go to university
  • 42% are BAME, rising to 83% in London (2019-20 national average 31%)
  • 29% have been eligible for Free School meals in the past six years

In addition to the practical preparation for internships, some of our young people will need more specific support. This document details some of the ways you can support your intern and things that will be helpful for you to consider.

Throughout their time on the Career Ready Programme students work towards developing key skills in preparation for joining the workplace. Working in partnership with employers and educators we have developed a set of skills and outcomes called Skills for Career Success. After their internship students will be surveyed on how they feel they have developed these skills. You may find these key skills a good way to help structure the workload of your student and set objectives. Find out more on the Skills for Career Success.

We will facilitate employer led conversations for those of you who would like to hear what’s worked well when engaging young people in the workplace. You will be able to register an interest for these once the dates are confirmed.

We have produced an example four-week internship programme. Also included are examples of projects and work from employers who have offered Career Ready students internships in the past. See our guidance document.

Career Ready is committed to the safeguarding of young people and keeping them safe from harm. Please take the time to read our Safeguarding Policy and Safeguarding Process Flow Chart.

Code of good practice 

  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect. 
  • Treat all young people equally. Show no favoritism. 
  • Plan meetings and activities in an open environment in sight of others. 
  • Keep other managers informed of where you are and what you are doing. 
  • Respect a young person’s right to privacy. 
  • Allow young people to talk about any concerns about the workplace they may have. 
  • Encourage others to challenge any attitudes or behaviours they do not like. 
  • Avoid being drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behavior e.g. tantrums, crushes. 
  • Avoid inappropriate language, behaviour, or contact. 
  • Don’t make suggestive remarks or threats to a young person, even in fun. 
  • Remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned. 
  • Never trivialise abuse or condone abusive peer activities e.g. bullying. 
  • Don’t form a relationship that is an abuse of trust with a young person. 
  • Don’t just rely on your good name to protect you. 
  • Put this code into practice at all times, even at sensitive moments. 

If you suspect abuse, if a young person confides in you or if a complaint is made about any adult or about yourself, it is your duty to report the concern to your senior manager. DO NOT let allegations, suspicions, or concerns about abuse go unreported.

In such cases: 

  • Allow the young person to speak without interruption, accept what is said. 
  • Offer immediate understanding and reassurance; pass no judgment. 
  • Advise that you will try to offer support but that you must pass the information on. 
  • Immediately contact the safeguarding officer at the student’s school/college. This may not be the Career Ready coordinator but they can direct you. 
  • Write careful notes of what you witnessed, heard or were told. Use the actual words where possible. 
  • Sign, date, and pass your notes to the student’s Career Ready coordinator in a sealed envelope (as they may not be the nominated safeguarding person). 
  • Make a written note of when this information was reported and to whom it was given. 
  • Notify your manager that an issue has arisen but do not disclose the nature. 
  • Try to ensure no one is placed in a position that could cause further concern or compromises. 

If you are concerned about any discussions that take place or have any suspicions that something is wrong please contact Career Ready’s designated safeguarding lead, Sian Robertson, on 07738 719497 or 

Preparation is key to providing good internships. There is lots to consider prior to your interns starting work for you. Further guidance on the onboarding process can be found here. We understand that it is critical for students to provide all the Right to Work information that your organisation needs. More information on this can be found here.

Your commitment to paying students during their internship is so important in ensuring wider access to such an opportunity. 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. By paying all Career Ready interns, together we level the playing field, boost social mobility, and diversify talent in the workplace.

Where possible it’s recommended that employers pay students the real living wage, government guidance on these rates can be found here. However an intern should be paid in line with your company policy and at minimum in line with statutory guidance around pay.

To support you in the delivery of your internship(s), Career Ready are facilitating an online learning programme of industry insights and skills development sessions which will be delivered during the internship period. More information about this will be coming soon.


Since 2002 Career Ready has provided thousands of teenagers with internships in the offices and workplaces of its business supporters as part of a programme of employer engagement in schools. These internships, lasting four to six weeks and are the proper way to provide students with real work and to be paid to do it.

Our Career Ready at 18 research report shows the transformational impact of paid internships of four weeks on young people aged 16-19. We are working with businesses to open up a world of opportunity to young people who have the potential to succeed but lack the networks and role models to do so.

Internships in England, Northern Ireland and Wales start on July 11 and are completed before the end of August.

In England, Wales, and N. Ireland students undertake their internship between Year 12 and Year 13 (EW&NI) and are aged 16/17 – 18 years.

In Scotland, students undertake their internship in the summer between S5/6.

COVID has naturally had consequences for internships and young people.

Similar to how businesses are providing their staff with flexible working arrangements, employers are encouraged look at arrangements that work well for interns. Provided the work that interns undertake is meaningful and continuous, adaptations for the working week can be agreed between the employer, student, and their school co-ordinator. For instance, this could include a slightly shorter day like 9-3pm.

The last year has seen the acceleration of remote and flexible working, which seems like it is here to stay – interacting virtually and making use of technology is increasingly becoming the norm. The students will still gain vital insights into the world of work as it changes to embrace more virtual interactions, be exposed to the professional environment, and get the opportunity to ‘meet’ new people, network and develop valuable work-based skills.

Career Ready champions the National Living Wage as a means for employers to support social mobility and this is important now more than ever with our current cost of living crisis.  Government guidance on Minimum Wage  and National Living Wage can be found here. If you are one of our corporate partners and employer supporters signed up as Real Living Wage employers we encourage you, to follow your best practices and adopt the Real Living Wage for Career Ready young people.


That said, to aid your internship budget planning, an intern should be paid in line with your company policy and at minimum in line with statutory guidance around pay.

A student working 35 hours at the national living wage would be paid £9.50 per hour equating to £1,330 over the four week period.

To minimise complications of differing working patterns e.g., virtual or hybrid internships and to be fair to students, we kindly request that you maintain the minimum payment to any student for their internship of £700 (based on the £4.81 minimum wage rounded up to £5 per hour minimum wage per normal Career Ready guidance.)

In very exceptional circumstances, Career Ready can manage the payroll on your behalf.  We charge an administration fee of £120 & VAT per student.

We want our students to have a realistic experience of applying for a job – from writing an application to reading and understanding a job description and having an interview.

All students are asked to complete one standard online application form for all internships. In return we ask that employers complete a job description for all places they are offering – the deadline for all job descriptions is 26 April 2021 Please contact your Career Ready Regional Manager or a member of our Business Development Team for more information.

We ask that you complete a Job Description template so we can best match a student to the role. Once your JDs are with us we work with our schools and colleges in the relevant regions and ask the coordinator to put forward a suitable student. We are confident that the selection and briefing process all students go through will ensure that a suitable candidate is matched to you and therefore we do not advise you hold a competitive interview process, but just meet the student or students matched to you for a formal discussion.

After interviewing your student, it is your responsibility to let them know if they have been successful or not. Should you feel that they are not appropriate then you can reject that student and we will identify someone else for you to meet. However, our experience tells us that this only happens in exceptional circumstances and in the main, employers are very pleased with the first student who is matched to them.

Find out more in our student recruitment guidance document.

We ask that each student you are hosting has an internship supervisor, someone to act a as a key point of contact within the organisation for the duration of the internship. The exact remit will depend on the nature and structure of your organisation and the format of the individual internship experience.

For example, if you work alongside the student within the same office for the full placement, you will have a different role that if your student works across different departments at varying locations. It can work well to assign someone from your team as a ‘buddy’ who may have recently been through education themselves and an opportunity for development who is at the beginning of their career.

Most students are given access to anything a normal temporary member of staff would be given. Some students may need to sign a confidentiality agreement with the company or have limited access to certain systems, so please see consider this in your planning and onboarding of students.

To support you, we commit to:

  • Give you a toolkit to support you in running the internship placement (the student will also have one)
  • Invite you to a supervisor briefing before the placement begins. Career Ready will offer both face-to-face and teleconference briefings for internship supervisors, particularly new supervisors, to help them prepare for the role. Supervisors will also be contacted after internships have finished to gather feedback to help us improve the internship experience next year.
  • Stay in contact with you and the student to support you throughout.
  • Visit or speak with the student at least once during their internship, including to listen to their presentation.

You are free to use whatever platform(s) you use in your day-to-day business. For example, Microsoft Teams or Google Classrooms. It is best to choose an option which has ‘break out’ functionality, if you plan to set the students group tasks. For reference, most (but not all) schools will have been using Microsoft Teams as their online platform of choice.

We are currently reviewing our safeguarding guidance for 2022

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.


Success stories