To pay or not to pay …… that is the question

Do you use interns in your business?

Do you pay them a salary or just expenses?

How long do you allow interns to work for you, earning only expenses?

Would you still use interns if you had to pay them?

Would you be more likely to pay interns if they had to pay you?

Today, the CIPD has called for interns to be paid a salary of £2.50 per hour.

In another conversation I have had this week, we debated the merits of asking interns to pay for the on the job training they were receiving as a result of their internship. This is an education that University and colleges can not provide. As employers complain about the lack of relevant skills in graduates, is internships the answer? Many courses are now developed as Sandwich courses and I believe these students find it easier to get jobs and settle into those jobs more quickly than those who have no relevant work experience.

In some professions, i.e. legal and medical, internships are part of the process, but for other industries they are still an unknown.

So, if two identical candidates are sat in front of you at interview and one has completed an internship and the other has not, which would you choose?

Would you take on an intern and give them an opportunity to gain essential work experience?

Thoughts please.

Whatever you decide to do, it is important that you have a policy, a framework and a way of setting and measuring individual performance and overall effectiveness of the scheme.