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The Summer of 2021 was a difficult time for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) trying to grow their businesses, and for students and graduates seeking skills-enhancing opportunities. The Liverpool Interns Programme, led-by Paul Cullinan from the University of Liverpool’s Employer Connections Team in Careers and Employability, provided the perfect solution.
The Liverpool Interns programme generated 132 unique internship opportunities for students and graduates and played an integral role in supporting business recovery in the Liverpool City Region (LCR).
During the Covid-19 pandemic many SME’s in the LCR experienced difficulties and disruption, and faced limited opportunities for growth within their businesses.
At the same time, an increasing number of University of Liverpool students and graduates aspiring to work in LCR were restricted by the number of internships on offer. The Careers & Employability team stepped up to the challenge of supporting business recovery and exposing students and graduates to local opportunities through the launch of Liverpool Interns 2021.
The initiative was funded by Santander Universities UK and HEIF and the programme linked the SME’s participating to a pool of innovative, creative and resilient University of Liverpool talent. The majority of the internships were completed on a part-time basis for a period of 8 weeks, and students and graduates received £1,000 for 100 hours of remote work. Three of the projects were so successful they were extended by a further 100 hours.
Thembiza Amone, second year Law student, had her internship extended. Thembiza joined Crowberry Consulting as a Legal Executive Intern in Summer 2021. Thembiza’s internship presented an exclusive opportunity to support clients with legal compliance linked to energy and environmental legislation, and human rights.
Thembiza Amone, second year Law student,
On successful completion of the programme, students like Thembiza get to experience working within an SME; apply theory and knowledge to real-world problems; develop valuable skills and experience; and add recent and relevant experience to their CV’s, portfolios, and LinkedIn profiles.
From a business perspective, the key aim was to attract talented candidates to address skills shortages. Becky Toal, University of Liverpool alumna and Managing Director at Crowberry Consulting quoted:
“Upon learning about Liverpool Interns we were confident the programme would support us as an SME. Many small businesses are resource stretched and having the ability to work with highly intelligent interns who are focussed and provide great skills helps to fill gaps we otherwise could not fill. “
The Liverpool interns collaboration between The University of Liverpool’s Careers & Employability Team and Crowberry Consulting has been shortlisted for the National Undergraduate Employability Award for Best Collaboration between Universities and Employers. The award praises influential collaborations between universities and employers that offer students additional employability skills and opportunities.
The Liverpool Interns programme will run again from January 2022 and opportunities will be open to students and graduates from 7 February 2022. The initiative will continue to provide students with the opportunity to connect with SME’s in the region and to test out potential future career paths.
Local SME’s in the LCR who would like to host an intern should contact Paul Cullinan via firstname.lastname@example.org. And students and graduates looking to apply for a Liverpool Interns opportunity from February 2022 should complete this short expression of interest form.
You can follow @livuniintern on twitter to find:
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