"Make fair agreements and stick to them." -Confucious

Every year millions of trainees undergo internship programmes at reputable business all over the world. Each intern had to apply, create a cover letter, submit their CV, and be interviewed before starting.

However, before starting their professional development experience, many companies based in the United Kingdom require that an internship agreement be signed to protect the employer and the trainee.

The internship agreement keeps everything in order and secures that both parties are meeting the rights and duties established at the start. 

The internship length, the start and finish date, the details highlighting if it is paid or unpaid, the internship supervisor, the address of the business where the internship will take place, and the daily tasks or missions that must be completed are all described on the internship agreement. 

It is essential to state that finding an internship is not an easy task; therefore, securing an internship agreement is even more difficult! Nevertheless, a course abroad, a professional development gap year, or finding a compulsory internship, each situation has its solution.

Therefore, since getting an internship agreement is complicated but not impossible, Superprof has the goal of providing practical solutions to guaranteeing one in today's article.

How to write an internship report after completion?

Why Ask for an Internship Agreement?

creating an agreement
After all the terms have been made and explained, a signature from the trainee and the employer are necessary to confirm the agreement. (Source: pixabay)

Although many recruiters and employers may claim that an internship agreement is not necessary, it is a document that is highly recommended by the CIPD. Without a contract, your commitment is not clearly shown towards your professional development. Also, the expectations of the business and the trainee are not clear from the outset, which could result in confusion and frustration for both parties.

Essential aspects of an internship agreement include the discussed terms, the employer's responsibilities, the intern's responsibilities, and both parties signatures along with the date signed. 

Indeed, the internship agreement is an important document that can be compared to the employment contract in regular jobs. Therefore, it provides a legal framework for trainees who cannot be yet considered as employees of the company in question; the agreement is binding and kept for further reference.

Although the internship agreement is not required by law in the United Kingdom as it is in other European countries, interns should request that a contract be signed before the training starts to be viewed as an official member of staff that deserves the same rights of health and safety as those who have signed an employment contract. 

If the company states on advertisements and job posts that they willingly offer an internship agreement, they can be viewed as a business that accomplishes matters lawfully and who care about their employees or trainees. 

Nevertheless, what exactly is included in an internship agreement? 

Depending on the business, an internship agreement can be lengthy, featuring several pages of demands and expectations or be very short only covering a simple page. From characteristics about the legality of the internship to the expected missions that should be completed by the trainee, the agreement includes a lot of details. It is usually signed by the trainee and the host business that will conduct the internship. Although, in some cases, especially if the internship is compulsory to keep studying, the student's academic institute may be asked to sign the document to confirm validity.

After signing an internship agreement, both the company and trainee are protected; what is written must be done, and there is no backing out! 

Information such as the hours of work per day, the types of tasks performed, the form of monetary compensation and the distinct benefits entitled to the trainee are included. Some of the benefits enjoyed by the trainee may consist of paid lunches, transportation aids, or housing discounts.

Also, the internship agreement must include details about if the trainee is expected to work evenings and weekends; literally, everything must be written!

However, don't panic, keep calm and take a chill pill! It is essential to state that creating the internship agreement is usually the responsibility of the employer and not the trainee. The CIPD provides an excellent sample internship agreement, although many companies end up deciding to write out their own.

How does one find a reputable company to complete an internship programme?

Obtaining an Internship Agreement From Your Further Education Centre

qualifying university agreement
Securing an internship agreement with the backing of your academic institute is the easiest way. (Source: pixabay)

The most common, and indeed the easiest, way to secure an internship agreement is by completing an internship while you are still a student at university. The further education centre where you are receiving your training can help you effectively find an internship with a company that demands an internship agreement; this is done in some instances, not all, to ensure that the interning experience does not become overbearing for the student.

Academic institutes that require students to do an internship for less than one year at a company that will help them develop essential skills necessary for their future career are usually happy to help trainees with an internship agreement. 

Nevertheless, it is essential to state that those who complete compulsory internships to receive their diploma are not due to the National Minimum Wage since it is part of their programme. Therefore, this should be clarified while creating the internship agreement through the guidance of academic advisors. 

Signed copies of the internship agreement should be kept for the trainee, the employer, and the academic institute issuing the internship. All parties must complete all administrative steps before the course commences. Also, everything must be validated by the school; therefore, time is needed to complete administrative tasks effectively.

Before concluding this section, it is essential to state that guaranteeing an internship agreement through your university is still the most accessible way since you are backed by your school and employers respect this formality from important education centres.

Acquiring an Internship Experience Through the Youth Employment Organisation

Many people want to complete an internship or equivalent professional development experience, but they are not students enrolled at a university or further education centre, what to do? While this may be more challenging than traditional methods, it is not impossible.

One of the solutions is to rely on the help provided by the not-for-profit organisation known as Youth Employment UK. The Youth Employment organisation aids students in honing their personal and professional skills to become more attractive to employers.

The Youth Development organisation is available for youngsters aged 14-24 and helps young ones create CVs, cover letters, search for relevant jobs and internships.  

By working with several key partners across the UK, the team at Youth Employment provide all youngsters with a voice that helps bridge the gap towards better work opportunities.

If an internship or volunteer programme is what you are looking for, the experts at Youth Employment UK help provide all the requirements to succeed in finding a professional development experience.

Completing an Internship Abroad

internship programmes
An internship programme can be completed abroad at a reputable company. (Source: pixabay)

The internship experience secured by an agreement from both parties can be undergone in other countries around the world, not just the UK. For those who want to escape and gain professional experience elsewhere, completing an internship abroad is a brilliant idea. 

However, it is crucial to exercise extreme caution before considering to embark on an internship abroad because, without an internship agreement established before departure, you are viewed as a simple migrant worker without any benefits in your new country of residence.

Nevertheless, it is essential to state that an internship abroad is a beautiful experience to gain valuable skills that will stand out on your resume. Also, not only professional skills are mastered, but a new language and the ability to deal with distinct cultures are honed, which are much appreciated by future employers. 

Going abroad for an internship is always a great idea! 

Also, a bonus is that in many other countries around the world, all internships are paid, even the compulsory ones demanded by universities; this is a piece of excellent news for UK citizens since many internships are unpaid.

Finding an Internship Through a Government Entity in the UK: Is It Possible?

The answer to the question mentioned in the previous subheading is an astounding YES! It is possible to use a UK-based government entity to find an internship related to your field of study. But how? Where do I start the search?

By using the Graduate Talent Pool website, new or recent graduates can search for internships UK organisations of any size from the public, private or voluntary sectors.

The Graduate Talent Pool is an affiliate of GOV.UK and is designed to help new professionals gain real work experience in their field of expertise.

All the internships are paid, they last between one to twelve months, professional work experience is gained, networking opportunities are available to get to know other contacts, and most importantly recent graduates see if their career suits them.

After creating an account, recent graduates can search for an internship programme near them, and by entering "internship agreement" in the keywords search bar, trainees are guaranteed to find an internship with a company that will protect their needs. 

Alternatives Methods to Complete an Internship

If you are a hopeless case that is not enrolled in a further education programme or who does not possess a degree, it may seem impossible to complete an internship programme or let alone fill out an internship agreement.

Therefore, the following are some alternative methods that are different from the traditional ways to complete an internship:

  • Register for a University Programme: it does not matter what age you are, registering for a further education course is simple and is an alternative way to take advantage of the academic school year to internships at companies. The power is that you can complete any internship you wish; long or short. The disadvantage is that to complete a course as a "university student" you'll have to pay for the tuition fees of the university; it's like paying to do an internship.
  • Unsoliticly Apply for Internships: if the time has passed and you're not in the bloom of youth anymore yet you have a desire to complete an internship to test out a new job sector, apply for one anywhere you can! Many companies prefer experience over youth and would be glad to offer you an internship position even if your previous field of expertise does not match.

Whatever your specific situation may be, completing an internship programme to gain professional development experience in your particular field is a brilliant idea that should not be overlooked. However, remember to protect yourself with an internship agreement!

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