Industry body launches internship code

The CIPD has launched a new code of practice to ensure that a government drive to expand internships does not harm the quality of placements given by employers.

These include best-practice recruitment and induction processes, as well as providing regular feedback and on-the-job mentoring.

CIPD skills adviser Tom Richmond said there were many potential benefits to offering internships – but only if placements were of sufficient quality. “Key skills like team working and project management are best developed in the workplace, which is why internships can be rewarding for both individuals and employers,” he said.

In the summer, the government launched a graduate talent pool to help address rising unemployment among young people, who have been hardest hit by the current recession. The scheme matches graduates to firms, based on the skills required by the firm, as part of a drive to boost the number of placements on offer.

The CIPD code also says that organisations should always cover any work-related expenses incurred by an intern during their placement. If expenses alone are covered and the rest of the internship is unpaid, the placement should last no longer than four months, it says.

“During these difficult times, it is right for government to encourage organisations to offer internships, but we believe that our new code of practice should be adhered to, especially if interns are working for no salary,” added Richmond.

A survey released today by the Association for Graduate Recruiters (AGR) signalled the start of a recovery in the graduate jobs market. Nearly a third of its members said that they planned to increase graduate recruitment next year.

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