‘Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth’ – Madeleine Bruce investigates the truth behind this J K Rowling quote…
The life of an intern. Sometimes glamorous, always stressful. Sometimes internships only succeed in turning the coffee making novice into a barista extraordinaire and a newbie filer to into the world’s best archivist.
But the benefit of an intern to business looks set to become greater over the next few years, as new research by the Prince’s Trust and HSBC predicts the emergence of a UK-wide skills shortage.
According to the study, which was based on interviews with 616 UK business leaders, three quarters of British businesses foresee a large-scale skills crisis in their peripheral vision. Seventy three percent of these believe it will hit within three years. Two thirds fear skills shortages will slam the brakes on the UK’s economic recovery, while one in three fear it would cause their business to fold.
In addition, seventy two percent believe that the recruitment of young people into the workforce is vital to avert a skills crisis.
Having based my teenage expectations of an Internship on programs such as The Hills, during which interns seem to drink cocktails, play with their hair and go on to become super-successful, I can forgive business minds for misunderstanding the role of an intern and the positive attributes of pumping new blood into a company’s infrastructure.
But with a rising crisis on our hands, is now the time to open the doors to the bright new minds of the future?
How could you benefit from hiring an intern?
1. Stay Fresh
Interns bring fresh perspectives to a company. In a world that’s changing and developing faster than you can say Jiminy Cricket, that can be pretty significant. Businesses should always be looking for ways to up their game, and a bright pair of young and enthusiastic eyes could really help keep your company up to scratch.
2. Test ‘em out!
Many UK internships are seen as a trial period for other long-term employment. In this day and age, the interview process can’t always give your business an apt understanding of how a young person could benefit your company, especially when the haven’t got a lot of previous experience on their resume.
3. Bring your company into the Year Dot
Younger, more techno-savvy minds have grown up in the digital boom, and probably know how to navigate social media faster than your most experienced techie guy. Their technological prowess could allow your business to branch out into more interactive social channels, expanding your reach no-end
4. Lighten the load!
Interns are looking to build up an industry-credible CV. Areas within your business, which need a little help on projects and development, could benefit ten-fold from an enthusiastic intern, looking to build their skill set! There’s no better gift than the gift of knowledge, and imparting your business expertise could help your intern really get a foot in that heavy, ever-closing, industry door.
5. Hit a new target market
The younger generation are a sociable bunch. Be it online or in person, an intern can help spread the word about your company, dispersing your business message to potential customers you never knew you could reach. Treat your intern well and keep them happy, and you’ll gain a free brand ambassador.