We recognise the value that higher education contributes to the Victorian economy by building a highly skilled, adaptive and productive workforce.
We have had feedback from universities, members and recruitment firms which highlights the need for more work experience opportunities. Employers are demanding more work ready graduates and universities are seeking to facilitate these experiences for students.
To help graduates gain the employability skills required by business, we have established the Victorian Chamber internship program.
The program is designed to encourage and support industry involvement in taking on a university intern.
To encourage industry involvement, Victorian Chamber will provide participating member organisations with a placement contribution of up to $3000 to help support the cost of the student internships.
We will be placing 100 student interns on an annual basis, five of which will be employed by Victorian Chamber to demonstrate our commitment to the program.
Participating members are required to identify a suitable project which provides benefits to their business as well as providing the student intern with a meaningful employment experience and the opportunity to develop new skills.
The program will meet all workplace employment requirements including payment for work undertaken. Student interns will be engaged directly by members of Victorian Chamber. The terms of engagement of a student intern may vary from business to business, however student interns are required to undertake up to 120 hours of paid employment (full time or pro-rata part time). The maximum term of a project is eight weeks.
Members may also decide to continue an employment relationship with a student intern external to the Victorian Chamber internship program.
There are many benefits for businesses and students who participate in internships, however there are also a number of questions and steps to consider to ensure everyone has a positive experience. When managed successfully, the process of taking on a student intern can add value to your business, and can be a powerful marketing and future recruitment tool.
Am I required to pay the student?
Yes! You are required to pay the student for all hours worked. In addition to completing and complying with our placement agreement, you are required to enter into a written contract of employment. If you’re unsure of any of your obligations as an employer contact our workplace relations helpline on 8662 5222 for advice and don’t forget to mention you’re participating in the internship program.
How will I know how much to pay an intern?
Regardless of your membership type, you’re eligible to participate in our internship program! You’ll receive free workplace relations advice through our helpline on 8662 5222. Just let the consultant know that you’re keen to participate in the internship program and they’ll provide advice around appropriate internship wages!
Can I employ an intern through a contractor as opposed to employing the intern direct?
Our internship program is a member only initiative. Interns participating in the program must be direct employees of the member organisation for the term of their 120 hour paid internship. Contract arrangements via an external agency are not an option.
What is the time delay between submitting my proposal and having an intern on board?
Leave a month between your ideal starting date and submitting your proposal. This allows time for the university to attract and screen suitable student candidates, and for you to undertake interviews.
I only recently found out about the program and I have a project in mind that starts in two to three weeks?
A lead time of one month provides the best possible chance of attracting the right student for your project. We do however have a number of university partners who can access students through their data base alone without the need to advertise. We will always try to accommodate your requests.
What type of detail is required in the project proposal?
Take a look at the below examples of completed project proposals:
Regardless of your industry, these examples provide a great indication as to the level of detail required. We’re also happy to talk you through some ideas if you’re a little stuck on where to start!
I want to get started on writing our project proposal, where can I find a blank template?
Who manages the recruitment process and final outcome?
Once students have been presented to you for consideration, it’s over to you to contact students directly to arrange interviews. You get to make the final decision around the best possible candidate. Timing and logistics are up to you.
Can I take on an intern on a part-time basis?
Yes! Students are typically available for 1 to 3 days per week during semester. We like to keep projects to a maximum of 8 - 10 weeks to ensure project continuity for your business and to provide a student with a realistic taste of the world of work. You can negotiate the hours and days of work with your chosen candidate.
Can I take on an intern on a full-time basis?
Yes! Students are typically available for full-time work in the winter and summer semester breaks.
To secure a student intern over the summer break, we ask you to ideally forward your proposal by no later than October 15. This provides our university partner with the best possible chance to attract the best possible student candidate for your project prior to the exam and holiday period.
To secure a student intern over the winter break, we ask you to ideally forward your proposal by no later than May 15. This provides our university partner with the best possible chance to attract the best possible student candidate for your project prior to student holidays.
Defining a project that is important to your business is crucial to the success of the Victorian Chamber internship program.
Taking the time to define a project allows you to differentiate between ‘needing an extra hand around the business’ and ‘identifying meaningful work through a specific project’ with tangible outcomes for your business and the student intern.
A project proposal which appears enticing and relevant to a student’s area of study will also help attract the best student intern for your business. Use our Project Proposal Template to ensure your project meets our requirements: Employer Project Proposal Template (word doc)
Student interns will want to see an opportunity where it is clear that there is scope to further develop skills required in your industry, learn about your business and the world of work, as well as use their education and skills to contribute to your business.
Try to be as open and descriptive as you can as to the type of experience the student intern is likely to have in your business. That way, you are setting clear expectations which will help attract the right kind of applicant.
Take a look at the below examples of project proposals:
Like any employment relationship, taking on a student intern does require an investment. You will need to choose at least one person (an Internship Supervisor) dedicated to guiding and supporting the student intern on a day to day basis.
It is important that you choose the supervisor carefully and well before the student begins the internship. A supervisor needs to have a suitable leadership style, as well as the time and resources to invest in the student intern and their project.
It will also be of benefit if you are able to identify several team members who are able and willing to assist with supporting the student intern. This way, the student intern is more likely to feel welcome and it will not be as difficult to allocate resources to support them.
It is important that as part of the induction process the supervisor and student intern establish a meeting schedule which includes time to review the student intern's progress against their duties.
As part of the Victorian Chamber internship program, if your project attracts interest from many students you will be provided with a shortlist of applicants from one or more Victorian universities.
As with all employees, it is important that the student intern fits within the culture of your business. Keeping this in mind, it often proves useful to include the person who has been nominated as the student intern’s supervisor in the interview process.
As you are dealing with a student, who may not have a great deal of experience in your industry or the world of work, it is useful to ask questions which require the student to provide a ‘real life’ example, even if the context differs.
When interviewing and selecting, it is important to keep the objectives of both the student intern and your business in mind. This will maximise the likelihood of a suitable match and positive experience for all involved.
Please take into consideration that students are often applying for numerous internship opportunities. If your recruitment and selection process is lengthy, it may impact the ability of your business to secure your preferred candidate.
The Victorian Chamber Placement Agreement outlines your responsibilities when employing a student intern as part of the Victorian Chamber internship program. If you would like to view a copy of this agreement, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goal of the Agreement is to ensure that your business is aware of its obligations. This includes entering into a contract of employment with the student intern prior to commencing employment as part of the Victorian Chamber internship program.
If you are unsure of your employment obligations or have any concerns, including minimum wage requirements, you may need to seek further information. Employers who have member access to Victorian Chamber’s workplace relations helpline can contact this service on 03 8662 5222.
For employers who do not have this access, information on this topic is available via the Fair Work Ombudsman at fairwork.gov.au.
Ensure your business makes time to create a student intern pack with all the required documentation prior to their start date. This should also include all company policies and procedures. On their first day, the student intern needs to be aware of their obligations while onsite, which includes knowing how to raise or report any issues or concerns.
It is also important that as part of the induction process (on day one) the supervisor and student intern establish a meeting schedule which includes time to review progress. Day one is also the best day to introduce the student intern to your wider team to ensure they are made feel welcome. A student intern who feels welcome within your business is also more likely to share positive feedback about your business with others.
As part of the Victorian Chamber internship program, your business is invited to provide written feedback to help us improve the program. In addition, we provide a report template which can be used as a feedback tool to discuss the student intern’s learning throughout the internship.
It is useful to provide informal feedback to the student intern throughout the internship with the view to promote an experience of sharing useful dialogue for both parties. Student interns are also provided with an evaluation template should they wish to provide feedback.
To find out more about engaging a student intern please forward your enquiry to: email@example.com.
We are working with our member businesses to support paid student internship opportunities for domestic university students throughout Victoria. Your university is also working with us to help facilitate these opportunities.
Participating in the our internship program provides many benefits, including:
To find out if your university has a current Victorian Chamber Internship opportunity available or to potentially register your interest in this program, please contact your respective university careers service:
La Trobe University
The University of Melbourne
Contact your universitiy’s careers service.
Interested in pursuing a student internship placement?
The Victorian Chamber internship program will provide domestic university students with the foundation to build valuable workplace skills. It will also complement university outcomes in giving students a holistic study experience.
In the longer term, internships can also open doors and dialogue between universities and businesses for sharing resources and innovation.
Taking on a university student intern provides our members with the opportunity to work with a new generation of talent. Members will be required to identify a suitable project which has a tangible outcome for the business, while providing a meaningful ‘real world’ experience for a student intern.
Imperative to the success of the Victorian Chamber internship program is a strong working partnership between Victorian Chamber and our member universities throughout Victoria. The Victorian Chamber university partnerships include the following components:
Like to know more? View our Internship Process Map to see the full process for participating universities: internship program phases for universities.
For further information or to register your interest please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.