Human Resources Payroll Internship
Location: Mthatha, Eastern Cape
Closing date: 14th May
Start date: June 2021
▪ Diploma or Degree in HR
Send your application to [email protected], application form
What Is an Internship?
An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called interns, to work at a firm for a fixed period of time. Interns are usually undergraduates or students, and most internships last between a month and three months. Internships are usually part-time if offered during a university semester and full-time if offered during the vacation periods.
An internship should give you practical skills, workplace experience and greater knowledge of that industry, in exchange for the employer benefiting from your labour.
An internship can be either paid or voluntary. The trend is increasingly (and rightly) towards the former, as voluntary internships are often cited as exploitative. As you would expect, internships that pay well are usually the most competitive.
How Is an Internship Different to an Apprenticeship?
It is important to differentiate between an internship and an apprenticeship, since they offer quite different experiences.
An apprenticeship is a dedicated vocational programme that combines work-based training and study towards an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) or foundation degree. Apprentices usually spend four days a week with their employer and then a day in the training centre, where they will work on building their portfolio to achieve their NVQ.
Traditionally, apprenticeships were reserved to trade occupations such as construction or planning. More recently, apprenticeships are offered in an increasing number of industries, from accountancy to marketing.
Apprenticeships can be a valuable route into employment, as apprentices often stay with their employer once they complete their vocational training, naturally progressing into a more senior role. Perhaps most importantly, an apprenticeship is a paid programme where you will earn at least the national minimum wage or apprenticeship rate depending on your age.
Typically, an apprenticeship will last between 12 and 18 months, though this depends on the level of the qualification.
By contrast, an internship doesn’t result in any formal qualification and is often for a much shorter period of time. And as mentioned previously, not all internships are paid.
Perhaps the most significant difference between an internship and apprenticeship is the commitment required from you to complete them. Apprenticeships are for the long term and you will need to commit to a programme for at least 12 months to obtain your qualification. Internships, on the other hand, are more flexible and they allow you to try different companies, work in different roles and really explore an industry in depth.
This can be beneficial if you are not really sure what direction your career is heading. Another factor that you should consider is your area of specialism – some industries are more suitable for internships, while others are better suited to apprenticeships.
Why Do Companies Offer Internships?
Companies offer students internships for a variety of reasons:
Internships provide employers with cheap (and sometimes even free) labour, for what is usually low-level office-based tasks, such as photocopying, filing, simple spreadsheet work or drafting reports. Many businesses will bring on board interns for a number of weeks or months to assist with the completion of a major project or event.
This can be great for students, because it can really help you to develop and evidence skills in project management, problem solving and client relationship management. Even if the internship is only brief, it can still equip you with a range of transferable skills and help you network and build valuable connections in the industry. Plus it looks good on your CV.
Employers often use internships as an effective way of advertising their graduate schemes to students. Surveys indicate that almost half of all graduate employers hire at least 20% of their ex-interns for training schemes. It is likely that graduates will return to the organisation that hired them as an intern for full-time employment after leaving university.
Hiring ex-interns after they graduate ias advantageous for employers as these graduates already understand the company and the job they will be doing. Ex-interns require less training than new candidates, which saves time and resources