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Sexy Summer Jobs Initiative Creates Opportunities

Sexy Summer Jobs Initiative Creates Opportunities

Dunedin (Friday, 12 September 2014) – Dunedin’s successful summer internship programme is underway again, with a speed dating-style event for students and businesses being held at the Otago Polytechnic next week.

Business Development Advisor at the Dunedin City Council’s Enterprise Dunedin, Chanel O’Brien, says Sexy Summer Jobs placed just over 40 interns in local Dunedin businesses during the 2013-2014 season, creating 17 new full-time equivalent positions, three part-time positions and two contracts across the ICT, architecture, creative, education and niche manufacturing sectors.

Initiated by the business community in 2008, Sexy Summer Jobs gives students valuable work experience with a wide variety of Dunedin businesses.

By July 2014, the estimated dollar value that businesses gained from having an intern totalled $171,500. Usually one in three interns gets a job after their internship has ended. This equates to more than 100 students since the programme began.

The annual speed dating-style event has attracted 20 companies who will speed interview up to 100 students from the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic at the event on Tuesday, 16 September.

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 build capability and to create jobs.”

Sexy Summer Jobs is a project within Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy under the theme, ‘a hub for skills and talent’. The Grow Dunedin Partnership, consisting of the Otago Polytechnic, the University of Otago, the Otago Southland Employers Association, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, Ngāi Tahu and the DCC, oversees the project.

The project is jointly funded by the DCC’s economic development projects budget and the Dunedin business community.

Grow Dunedin Partnership Chair Chris Staynes says, “The Grow Dunedin Partnership aims to support Dunedin businesses through the Economic Development Strategy and the theme ‘a hub for skills and talent’. This internship programme is a good way of introducing students into Dunedin’s workforce and has resulted in many gaining full-time employment as a result."

AbacusBio Consultant and Partner Jude Sise says, "This is a great programme! Last summer we took on four interns (including two international students) and two of them have stayed on with permanent full-time positions in our company.

"We really value the input, enthusiasm and vitality that these students have brought to our office.”

Former intern and new AbacusBio employee, Jonathan Chuah says, “The internship programme has enhanced the skills and knowledge I acquired at university - giving me an extra 'foot in the door'.

“An internship is also a good way to demonstrate your competence as a full-time employee within the company. Being an international student myself, Sexy Summer Jobs gave me a great opportunity to experience working life overseas with a different perspective.”

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.

The Polytechnic’s Head of the College of Enterprise and Development, Lesley Smith, says, “The internship programme is an ongoing success story for our students. The speed dating event provides an amazing opportunity to have up to 10 interviews in one evening with employers from Dunedin’s fast growing IT sector.

“The best prepared students come away with summer jobs and it is great to see some of those jobs developing into permanent work in the industry.”

University Career Development Centre’s Graduate Employer Liaison Officer, Robyn Bridges, says, “Aside from both the employer and the student being able to ‘try before they buy’, these internships give students relevant experience, confidence, an opportunity to see how their learning applies to the world of work, a chance to earn some money, and in many cases these placements lead to full-time work.”

For more information on the intern programme and the speed dating event, visit www.sexysummerjobs.com.

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