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Internships Bridging the skill gaps of tomorrow

Support and funding for Bristol businesses to help foster the emerging marketing and digital talent of tomorrow…
It’s a competitive market, demands for niche and extensive digital skill sets are continually increasing, and it’s common knowledge there is a talent shortage in the marketing and digital sector.
But what about those trying to take their first steps and gain the skills and experience needed to emerge as the talent of tomorrow? Here at ADLIB we’ve witnessed many graduates and junior level candidates struggling to get their foot in the door in recent years, and as such we have seen a lesser volume, than in previous times, of candidates rising with a good grounding in the marketing and digital sector who are looking to move on and up for that next step in their career. Many have been working hard to get internships or work experience to overcome the chicken and egg situation in applying for jobs, as it is difficult for them to gain the experience when employers are demanding the knowhow. At the same time, whether interns should be paid or unpaid is a hot topic.
The good news! UWE’s subsidised Undergraduate Internship scheme offers an incentive to local businesses looking to recruit an intern for a summer project. This could provide the perfect opportunity to nurture and inspire tomorrow’s talent, resource a short term business need, and identify potential future employees, whilst giving undergraduates invaluable experience to enhance their skills and confidence, complement their qualifications, and better their future prospects.
UWE Bristol’s Undergraduate Internship scheme is now entering its second year after a triumphant first year.
The internship programme, which was launched on 4 March 2013, encourages students in their first and second year of study, as well as returning students in their third year, to embark on 8 week internships at organisations within their field of interest. With Bristol being a hub for the Digital, Marketing and Creative Industries and UWE offering numerous relevant courses this scheme is ideally suited to support employers in this area.
The University subsidises the internship as an incentive for local businesses to take part and to guarantee students at least the national minimum wage during the experience. In a survey conducted at the end of the last year’s scheme; 94 per cent of businesses felt that taking part had been of value to the company. Over 135 businesses partnered with UWE last year and this year the university is determined to expand the scheme, reaching more students and involving more local businesses.
Hannah Newmarch, Head of Employer Partnership Services at UWE Bristol, said, “At UWE Careers, we are determined to assist our students in developing skills that will increase their prospects following graduation. A UWE Undergraduate Internship is a fantastic way for students to gain meaningful work experience and bolster their graduate CV. Many of our students find they develop not only employability related skills, but gain confidence and feel more focussed within their studies upon return to university. For employers, especially Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), funding an intern can be a barrier to crucial support needed for a project within their business. We support employers, large and small, to employ a UWE intern, giving them additional support for projects, and a fresh outlook.”
For any organisation wishing to get involved further, information can be found on the internship homepage.