Preparing to host
an intern

Everything employers need to know for a high-quality experience.


Thank you for your support 


Thank you for your tremendous commitment to supporting Scotland’s young talent at a vital time in their lives and helping to put young people at the heart of Scotland’s ongoing COVID recovery.

We have prepared extensive guidance to support you in the delivery of your four-week paid internship(s), commencing:

Monday 20 June 2022 across Stirling, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian

Monday 27 June 2022 across Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire, Dundee, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Perth & Kinross, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, Moray

At this point in time, we appreciate that the time in actual workplaces will continue to differ between organisations and sectors, with some of this summer’s internships being hosted remotely, some fully in the workplace, and some a hybrid blend of both.  We have prepared this guidance to support you to plan and deliver the internship approach that works best for your organisation, reflecting your working realities. 

Thank you again for your support, care, and energy in planning for the summer 2022 internships.

How they work

Structure snapshot

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

Key milestones

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

Key actions


Everything you need to know

You can view a summary of the feedback from summer 2021 virtual and hybrid internships here.

All feedback has helped inform how we best prepare for and support 2022 internships.

Hear first-hand from former interns and employers here. We can’t wait to hear about all the successes of this summer’s internships.

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 virtual, in work and hybrid internships.

Insights Programme

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 accessible during the internship period. More information about this will be found here soon.

Working hours 

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 that all internships will follow a traditional 9-5 full working day. Where an internship is virtual or hybrid, we recommend a shortened day to prevent online fatigue, as well as a mix of participating in meetings and delivering tasks and projects.

Career Ready is committed to the safeguarding of young people and keeping them safe from harm. Please take the time to read our Safeguarding Guidance relevant to virtual, hybrid and in workplace internships.

Please review the onboarding handbook and complete this onboarding form as soon as possible and no later than Friday 4 March to confirm your onboarding and technology requirements. This will help students prepare the documents you need before starting and help us work with you and schools to ensure students have access to the technology required to work remotely for your organisation, where applicable. Based on previous experience, we know that onboarding is better enabled when a mentor supports their student to collate the onboarding information required.

Further supporting onboarding information is available here.

Where virtual or hybrid internships are taking place this summer, students are unlikely to be working a traditional 9-5 day over the four-week period (more details on this can be found in the Planning the internship section).  To minimise complications and in line with your internship budget planning, we kindly request that you maintain the minimum payment to any student for their internship of £700 (based on the £4.81 minimum wage from April 22, rounded up to £5 per hour minimum wage per normal Career Ready in Scotland guidance).  Where your organisational policy is to pay above this rate e.g., national living wage or the real living wage, your policy should be followed, considering the minimum £700 guidance alongside hours worked.

Students will be added to your payroll system as temporary employees for four weeks, following the same onboarding process as any other temporary employee within your organisation.  In very exceptional circumstances, Career Ready can manage the payroll on your behalf.  We charge an administration fee of £120 & VAT per student.

All employment will be directly with you as the employer and will not be subcontracted to Career Ready.

We will be in touch with your organisation’s internship point of contact at the beginning of March to ensure they have access to our employer portal where they can complete and submit the internship job descriptions by 1 April.

The job description is designed to give your intern(s) an overview of the work they will be doing, and the skills required or to be developed.  Where you are supporting more than one young person, you may have a tailored job description for each individual, or the same description may be suitable to be uploaded for all students.

You will be asked to provide, via the portal, details of the internship supervisor for each student so they know who they will be working with.

The job descriptions also form an essential basis for Health & Safety checks which will be carried out by Local Authorities before the internship starts.

Once you have completed your job description(s) you will be contacted by a member of the Local Authority Health & Safety team if this is required for your organisation, based on recency, location and work undertaken by young people in your workplace.

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.

While students do not go through a competitive selection process for their internship, we ask that all employers provide an interview experience to help prepare them for future job, college, and university applications.  If face-to-face interviews are not possible, they can be conducted via your preferred online platform (MS Teams, Google Meet etc).  This is also a great opportunity for the student to meet other people they will be working with which may or may not include their mentor, and also to explain what the student can expect during the internship.  If you are not the internship supervisor, it would be helpful to include them.  Interviews should ideally take place during the week of 6 or 13 June, after students have completed their SQA exams and participated in Masterclass 3: Preparing for Work.

We have collated some sample, non-competitive interview questions which you may wish to use.

Students, with the support of their school, can elect to participate in the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Personal Development Unit: Self and Work, or SQA Work Experience Unit or Virtual Work Experience Unit to underpin their internship experience and obtain accredited tariff points on their school leaver certificate.  Mentors and internship supervisors can support students who are completing either of these units by providing guidance and encouragement to enable them to meet the learning outcomes.  Please be aware that not all schools offer these qualifications, and some students may not be aware of it.

Please share a copy of the supervisor handbook with your internship supervisor.

Internship supervisors, who may be the student’s mentor, will play a leading role in supporting students’ internship experience.

This is an excellent development opportunity too, giving staff experience of management so 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 the provision of all necessary resources
  • 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. 

Students benefit from delivering a presentation at the end of their internship, covering for example, what they have learned and developed from the experience, their contribution to the organisation, their feelings about their future and where their focus will be with their mentor for the remainder of the programme.  Many organisations use this as an opportunity to gather feedback too – a great way for others in your organisation to appreciate the difference you are making to young people.

Pre-Covid some employers 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 hosting in 2022 is entirely virtual it would be wonderful, if possible, to invite your intern(s) into your place of work for their presentations.

Students will have the opportunity to present on their internship when they return to school at a Celebration of Success event. Another purpose of this event is to support students reconnect with their mentor after the summer break.

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

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 for you ahead of the start of internships (June 2022).

Students will greatly appreciate a reference from your organisation and perhaps practical help during the internship with updating their CV to support college, UCAS, job applications and interviews, which can be refined with their mentor.

We will send a feedback survey to you and your internship supervisors. The feedback from the virtual internships in summer 2021 has really helped inform this summer’s internships.

You can view a summary of the feedback from summer 2021 virtual internships here.


The students on the Career Ready programme undertake the internship in the summer between S5 and S6 and are aged 16/17 years old. After the internship students will return to S6 at school or, for some, move into work or onto college.

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. You can view a summary of the feedback from summer 2021 virtual and hybrid internships.

Employers are encouraged to look at arrangements that work well for interns and for your organisation, considering any Covid restrictions which may still be in force this summer.  Provided the work that interns undertake is meaningful and continuous, the working week can comprise face-to-face, virtual interactions or a blend of the two.

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. 

Most students will also be able to elect to participate in the SQA Personal Development Self and Work Unit or SQA Virtual Work Experience Unit to underpin their experience (and receive accredited tariff points on their school leaver certificate).

Career Ready is about ensuring no young person who wants to take part in the programme cannot, due to the need to earn during the summer holidays. Unpaid internships are a barrier to social mobility. It’s unfair that students and graduates from wealthier backgrounds can take part in, and benefit from, unpaid internships, while many others simply cannot afford to. This can be because their families can’t support them financially while they are doing it or because they don’t live near to where most internships take place.

Internships are also an incredible bridge in supporting students from less privileged backgrounds into industries they may struggle to get a foothold into.  A 2018 report by the Sutton Trust found that as many as 70% of internships were unpaid, and 27% of young graduates had completed an unpaid internship. Similarly, the Trendence UK Graduate Survey 2020 of almost 72,000 students revealed that 43% of students who had done an internship were not paid for it.

Career Ready champions the Real Living Wage as an means for employers to support social mobility and this is important now more than ever with our current cost of living crisis.  Many of our corporate partners and employer supporters signed up as Real Living Wage employers and we encourage everyone working with us, where they can, to follow best practice and adopt the Real Living Wage for Career Ready young people.  The Real Living Wage guidance can be found here and the Government guidance on Minimum wage can be found here. 

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 real living wage would be paid £9.90 per hour equating to £1,386 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 £4.62 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 at administration fee of £120 & VAT per student.

We ask that each student has an internship supervisor (who may be their mentor) – someone to act as a key point of contact within the organisation for the duration of their 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 for the full internship, you will have a different role than if your student works across different departments. It can work well to assign someone from your team as a ‘buddy’ who may have recently been through education themselves, and as an opportunity for development for someone 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 when you’re planning and onboarding of students.

You are free to use whatever platform(s) you use in your day-to-day business. For example, Microsoft Teams or Google Classrooms.  Most Local Authorities won’t permit the use of Zoom on Local Authority provided devices.  If the platform you use is Zoom you may have to provide a device for the young person to access Zoom. 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.

Career Ready is committed to the safeguarding of young people, in line with our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy published on our website. If you organise any 121 sessions between Career Ready students and your staff, please ensure someone is present who holds a Career Ready PVG (current or past mentor).  If this isn’t possible for your organisation, please get in touch as soon as possible and we can help set your internship supervisor(s) up with Career Ready PVG membership. This process can take a few weeks to complete with Disclosure Scotland so please do get in touch if you think you might need this as soon as you are able. Please take the time to read our detailed Safeguarding guidance for internships.

During the first week of the internship school coordinators will be in school and are the best first point of contact for any concerns around student attendance.  For the remainder of the internship once schools have closed for summer, please contact your Career Ready Regional Manager, or Local Authority Coordinator (contact details for whom are shared at the internship supervisor briefing for your area).

Yes.  Whilst students do accrue holidays over the period of the internship, it is expected students will not take leave while on internship to maximise their time.  However, it is up to each employer how they will apply their own policy and please communicate this to your supervisors.  The statutory holiday accrual for 4 weeks is 2 days based on a 5 day / 35 hour working week. As some interns will be working less than this any holiday accrual will be pro-rata and may be absorbed into their reduced working hours arrangements.

We recognise that the possibility of workplace interaction will differ between organisations and sectors.  Where students are able to be in workplaces this summer,  adhering to Health & Safety regulations and taking account of sectoral guidance,  this will need to be considered alongside government guidelines, ensuring any safety measures are adhered to e.g. lateral flow testing, vaccination status, face coverings.

It is important that any plans for F2F internships / time is outlined clearly on the job description you provide to ensure the relevant Local Authority Health & Safety checks can be completed before internships begin.  Given timescales needed for Local Authority Health & Safety checks it will not be possible to work with any short notice requests for face-to-face interaction prior to, or during the internship period, which have not been included in the job description or any additional information requested by Local Authority Health & Safety contacts.

The internship dates are carefully planned to ensure students can be supported in their first few days by their school before summer holidays begin, and students and their families have committed to keeping these dates as free as possible. 

For organisations providing internships in Scotland and England, the internships in England start on Monday 11 July 2022.

Any deviations to internship start and end dates cannot be guaranteed and would require the organisation to facilitate all that entails.

For those students returning to school or starting college after their internship, the start of term is 17 August 2022. 

To support you in the delivery of your internship(s), Career Ready are facilitating an online learning programme of industry insights during the internship period.  Focused around obtaining insights into industry via live and recorded interactions with employer volunteers, each session will provide information on roles and pathways into specific sectors.  More information about the Career Ready Insights Programme will be available here soon.

No.  The Career Ready Insights Programme is intended to support your delivery of this summer’s internships, by providing access to sessions your intern(s) can join as part of their working week.  If you have other plans for your interns at the times sessions are running, please prioritise your own arrangements.  We will make recordings available following each session.

Success stories

Addressing the skills shortage is one of the biggest challenges to our sector. By engaging with young people, we create a pipeline of talent that can be mentored, trained, and guided to become ‘career ready’ young professionals, that undoubtedly help to enhance our business.   

Deans Civil Engineering 
Success stories