We’ve heard from our members, universities and recruiters that there needs to be more paid work experience opportunities for students to ensure they are work-ready when they graduate. The Victorian Chamber Internship Program is turning this around by giving employers incentive to hire interns to build a highly-skilled, adaptive and productive workforce for the future. If your business has a project that needs attention, consider how an intern can help.
The Victorian Chamber Internship Program is a valuable experience for employers and interns. While interns contribute to your business objectives, organisations provide students with work experience in their chosen professional field.
Internships are increasingly part of the transition from studying to employment. However, it is important that internships deliver real opportunities for students to develop professionally to enhance their employment prospects, and to increase their value to industry in the long term.
We have developed an internship program that delivers benefits at every level. An intern's presence in your business allows them to receive broad learnings about your business in general, the world of professional work as well as contribute to your business objectives. Businesses can leverage off our financial incentive to get in-house projects off the ground, and industry is enhanced by the quality of graduates each year.
Let an intern help your business achieve its goals and contribute to developing the future of your industry. Learn how to get involved.
The Internship Program follows five stages:
Define the intern's roles and responsibilities
To apply to the Internship Program, member organisations need to complete and submit the Employer Project Proposal Template. The Project Proposal outlines the duties the selected intern will undertake on a day-to-day basis, education requirements they must fulfil, required skills and the desired outcomes of the project. When preparing the project proposal, try to be as open and descriptive as you can about the type of experience the intern is likely to have in your business. That way, you are setting clear expectations which will help attract the right applicant.
When your project proposal template is complete, please submit it via email to the Internships team.
Receive a shortlist of candidates from University partners
Once the Project Proposal is approved, the Victorian Chamber will work with one or two of our university partners to identify and attract potential interns who have the right skill set for your business. Member organisations will typically receive the shortlist of up to four candidates to consider. Contacting the candidates and arranging interviews is for the member organisation to arrange. Note that students often apply for many internship opportunities. If your recruitment process is lengthy, it may mean you miss out on your preferred candidate.
Interview candidates, make an offer and advise the Victorian Chamber
Selecting an intern is like hiring any employee. It is important that the intern fits your business’ culture and it is one of the qualities that should be assessed at interview. To help make a decision, we recommend that your nominated Project Supervisor is involved with the interview process. When undertaking interviews it is important to keep the objectives of both the intern and your business in mind. This will maximise the likelihood of a suitable match and positive experience for all involved.
Once you have selected your intern, you are required to complete and submit the Victorian Chamber Placement Agreement. This agreement outlines your responsibilities and obligations when employing an intern as part of the internship program. If you would like to view a copy of this agreement, please contact the Internships team.
Welcome the intern to the team and pair with a Project Supervisor
When your intern starts, you should follow normal induction procedures. This includes providing the intern with a safety induction and an outline of all company policies and procedures. On their first day, the intern needs to know their obligations while onsite, which includes knowing how to raise or report any issues or concerns. While they should already know their Project Supervisor, having other team members available to help your intern will make them feel welcome and it will be easier to support them.
Provide feedback to the intern and the Victorian Chamber
As with any employee, providing your intern with feedback throughout their internship is beneficial for their development and growth. We recommend that relevant and ongoing feedback is delivered to help your intern to hone their skills and ensure the success of your project. You should also encourage your intern to return feedback to you about their experiences on the job.
On completion of the Internship Program, member organisations and interns are invited to give the Victorian Chamber independent feedback via a survey link. This provides us an opportunity to evaluate the experiences, learnings and skills students and employers are encountering and ultimately help us improve the program for future.
Member organisations can employ an undergraduate or postgraduate student with the educational background to support a specific project in their business. While the project can cover any industry or subject, the project must have measurable outcomes to provide interns a clear opportunity to develop industry skills.
As part of the recruiting service, the Victorian Chamber works with our university partners to source internship candidates with the educational background to contribute to your project objectives. Contacting, interviewing and making an offer to a preferred candidate is the responsibility of the member organisation.
Like any employment relationship, members must pay interns at the relevant award rate. To assist with the costs of paying the intern's wages, the Victorian Chamber provides a placement contribution of $3000. Please note that there are a limited number of Internship Program contribution payments available each year.
If you are unsure of your employment obligations or have any concerns, including minimum wage requirements, please access detailed information from our Workplace Relations Advice Line on 03 8662 5222.
The length of the internship is capped at 120 hours. The hours can be made up through full-time, part-time or casual work at any time of year. We usually find our members spread the work over a period of eight to ten weeks during semester. Typically, interns are available for two days during semester and up to five days during semester breaks. On many occasions, members have such a great experience with their intern that they decide to extend the employment relationship beyond 120 hours. That’s a great outcome for all involved however please note that like arrangements are external to our program.
Prior to commencing the internship, member organisations need to identify a Project Supervisor. The role of this individual is to provide the intern daily guidance and support while they are working on the project. The Project Supervisor needs to have a suitable leadership style, as well as the time and resources to invest with the intern and their project.
The Internship Program is available to members of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce. If you are interested in learning more about member benefits or becoming a member, contact our membership team or view further information online.
The Internship Program has partnered with Victoria's leading universities to source students with the educational background and professional skills to contribute to member projects as an intern.