With almost half of employers studied in a recent survey by the Sutton Trust, offering unpaid placements, students who cannot afford to take unpaid roles are losing out in the job market. Coltraco are proud to invest in student development and only offer paid roles.
The UK business community is doing little to access this talent pool at an early stage. Bright undergraduates are often hungry for work while studying, but businesses make little effort to engage.
At Coltraco, we devised a special internship programme to do just this. Coltraco Ultrasonics exports 89% of its output to 108 countries, with 40% of our exports going to Asia alone. We work with four UK universities and, for more than five years, have had as many as 25 undergraduates working with us annually. Typically, they work with us for 6-8 hours a week in term-time and a little more during the Christmas and Easter holidays.
They are paid weekly to reinforce the connection between work and reward. On Thursday evenings they are encouraged to write a short report summarising their work. Those that do so consistently over two years secure two things: their first-class degree and their first career choice. We offer five of them the opportunity to join our eight-week full-time paid summer internships. On graduation, one of them is recruited to a full-time position.
It enables them to contribute to business, generate income during their studies and make more meaningful their university experience. It dramatically improves their employment opportunities and, because we work with senior departmental leadership at the universities to implement these programmes, it strengthens their relationships with top academic staff.
The very best of British undergraduates are the finest I have seen in my career. They have much to contribute from a young age, and business leaders would be wise to offer something in return.
See the Sutton Trust Research Paper: https://www.suttontrust.com/research-paper/internships-pay-as-you-go/
See Dr Hunter’s Article: https://www.finito.org.uk/2018/11/21/businesses-should-do-more-for-the-british-undergraduate/
Keywords:Student Engagement, Universities, Internship, Employment