HR has ‘vital role’ to play in managing internships

HR has a “unique and vital role” to play in ensuring that internships are well managed and that recruitment practices are transparent, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has said.

The comments came as a new best practice guide for internships, developed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Collaborative Forum on Fair Access to the Professions, was launched to help organisations create fair, open and high-quality internships.

The “Common best practice code for high-quality internships” is based on the CIPD’s own employers’ guide on internships and aims to help improve social mobility and help organisations to access wider talent pools.

CIPD chief executive Jackie Orme commented: “Internships are a valuable resource for those looking to improve their employability before taking their first step on the career ladder, but they must be fully accessible and operated to a high standard if they are to be of maximum benefit.

“We recognised this in our own internships guide and are pleased to see the message so comprehensively reinforced in this code, which the Government has built around our earlier guidance. We hope that it will be effective at encouraging employers to provide the kind of placements that are rewarding to both young people and organisations.”

She added that if internships are done right, they can offer a great opportunity for employers to widen their horizons and find new talent.

Guidance on the legal aspects of internships, including issues around employee rights and the national minimum wage, can be found on the XpertHR FAQs.

To explore the benefits of taking on interns, see Personnel Today’s feature There’s more to interns than cheap labour.

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