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Internships Make a Real Difference

Internships Make a Real Difference

Dunedin (Monday, 5 May 2014) – Dunedin’s successful summer intern programme has
resulted in more than 14 jobs for students this season.

Dunedin City Council Business Development Advisor Chanel O’Brien says that as of March, almost 100 full and part-time positions have been created by businesses since the programme began in 2008. She expects that number to rise to 120 jobs by June.

Sexy Summer Jobs, which was initiated by the business community, gives students valuable work experience with a wide variety of Dunedin businesses.

Ms O’Brien says, “The aim is to retain talent and skills in the city, to increase the flow of top quality students into local businesses to fill skill shortages and to grow export-ready businesses.

The intern programme also fits with one of the themes of Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy – the city being a hub for skills and talent. The programme is supported by the Otago Polytechnic, the University of Otago, the DCC’s Economic Development Unit and This season, the programme has created 11 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and three part-time jobs across the ICT, architecture, creative and niche manufacturing sectors.

Thirty three companies gave 44 students an internship in the 2013/14 season. There is already a waiting list of about seven businesses who would take on one or two interns in the 2014/15 season, Ms O’Brien says. At March 2014 the estimated dollar value that businesses gained from having an intern totalled $63,000. Usually, one in three interns gets a job after their internship has ended.

The Logic Studio Ltd Managing Director Ian Simpson says, “The Sexy Summer Jobs internship programme has allowed us to take on two interns. One has already come on board full time, and we hope to employ the second later this year. The programme has helped us grow, allowing us to take on more clients, including from outside Dunedin and NZ.”

SwiftSocial Founder Reuben Skipper also commented that “The programme reduced the risk in growing my company when I wasn’t sure if we were ready to grow. I employed this first intern on a part-time basis and may employ a second person on the same basis.”

Businesses surveyed in 2013 indicated high levels of satisfaction with the programme, with 100% of businesses either satisfied or very satisfied with the programme.

Another opportunity for interaction with the business community has been linking interns and employers with Dunedin Young Professionals to encourage further retention of talent in the city and networking opportunities.

From the University’s Career Development Centre, Graduate Employer Liaison Officer Robyn Bridges says, “The programme gives students relevant experience and knowledge which is so important in the competitive graduate employment market. Internship experience gives them self -confidence, and the opportunity to apply their learning to the real world of work.”

For more information on the intern programme visit www.sexysummerjobs.com.


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