The SME Internship Scheme
Our funded SME Internship Scheme provides opportunities for you to work with our students.
SME Internship Scheme
The SME Internship Scheme is open to applications for the 2023/24 academic year.
The scheme provides paid work experience of 4 weeks (140 hours) with SMEs in the UK, for current students and alumni who have graduated within the last 15 months. The fund supports organisations whilst providing opportunities for internships where you can make a difference.
What is the eligibility criteria?
- Internships can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis and last for 4 weeks (140 hours).
- Organisations taking part will receive a grant per internship of £1,458.80 towards the intern's wages.
- These can take place any time during the year but must start before the end of June 2024.
- Your organisation must be a registered company or charity and a UK-based SME (with fewer than 250 employees).
- Interns are current students or alumni who have graduated within the last 15 months.
- Interns must be paid at least the National Living Wage per hour via your PAYE system.
- Interns accrue holiday at a rate of 12.07% during their internship as paid leave.
- We ask each intern to write a short blog for us about their internship.
How do I apply for funding?
If you have already identified an intern for your role and don’t wish to advertise the opportunity, you will skip steps 5 and 6 below.
- Register online. If you haven't engaged with us before, sign up to mycareer then email us at email@example.com so we can approve your account.
- Identify a suitable role and ensure that you can meet the eligibility criteria.
- Post your internship including a job description. Use our guide to writing a strong job description for help.
- Our team will assess your eligibility and if funding is available, they will approve your opportunity. If advertised, you will be informed when your opportunity is made live.
- Our team collects applications for review and will send these to you after the advert closes. You will then shortlist, recruit and offer to the applicant within 2 weeks of receiving the applications. We recommend you ask students whether they need adjustments throughout the recruitment process. This will help you see the full potential of all your candidates. Disabled candidates do not have to disclose details beyond adjustments needed during recruitment. See the ACAS website for information on providing reasonable adjustments at work.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let the team know who you would like to hire. Please include the intern’s name, their student number and the internship start and end dates.
- You, your intern and the University will sign a 3-way internship agreement.
- The internship begins and we’ll send you a short form to obtain your bank details so that we can issue the funding. The grant should reach your organisation within two weeks.
- You and the intern will complete a mandatory feedback form at the end of the internship.
How do I write an internship job description?
Please include the following elements in your job description:
- Brief overview of your organisation.
- Internship job description.
- Key responsibilities.
We recommend advertising your role for 2-3 weeks.
If you are new to working with interns, use these helpful resources to get started:
Hear from students who have completed internships through the SME internship Scheme over on the Careers Service blog