Community Internship Programme
The difference between a community internship and a community project
How the Programme Works
Information for Employers/ Home Organisations
Information for Interns
Information for Host Organisations
Information for Employers/ Home Organisations
The Community Internship Programme offers the employers / home organisations of interns the following potential benefits:
- A different kind of professional development or sabbatical experience for your staff, including the opportunity of working in a new environment, with a chance to renew energy and initiative for their permanent job.
- The ability to build new relationships across sectors.
- An opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and build understanding with a key community stakeholder organisation.
- A practical way of fulfilling the organisational goals of becoming more externally focused or responsive to community perspectives.
- An opportunity to enhance the profile for your organisation in the community.
- A constructive opportunity to contribute to the development of your community.
Previous Employers that have released employees to take part in an internship have said the following:
“Regular meetings were set up. It changed our perceptions and increased our understanding of how each of us operates. We have more respect for each other’s roles. It was also an opportunity to talk about other issues and sort them out. It created a dialogue between us, we talked.”
“We were internally focused because of all the restructuring (we had been through). This was an opportunity to become more externally focused, put the focus back on the community (and our clients), rebuild a stronger and more positive relationship with the community. It achieved our very simple goal of establishing a relationship with our community.”
How it works
You may be seeking to strengthen your organisation's relationship or understanding of a community stakeholder, or to build your organisation's knowledge, profile and networks within a specific community of interest, or an employee may propose a community internship as a professional development opportunity - whether it is your organisation that initiates the internship proposal, or one of your employees, or the community organisation seeking the development support of an intern, all three parties to the internship proposal need to participate in the planning and development of the internship proposal.
Developing a good understanding of each other's respective goals, roles and expectations helps to ensure that the benefits gained from the internship are available to all three parties.
If your joint application is successful, the intern will be placed with the host community organisation for a limited period of time to undertake the tasks or work programme as outlined in the internship application. There are several options for how you can manage this placement of your employee to support your existing workplace systems and conditions. For example, placements can be by secondment, or by contract, or by the employee taking leave from the workplace. You will need to discuss this with your employee and the host organisation.
If the application is successful, it is the host community organisation that will receive the funding for the intern’s salary and a contribution towards the resource costs associated with the internship. For further details of this funding see How The Programme Works.
However, as the intern / your employee will be returning to your organisation to resume their previous employment when the internship ends, you may wish to consider maintaining their income level, work conditions &/or work benefits for the duration of the internship in recognition of it as a structured part of your employee's professional, personal and career development.
As well as providing for the impact of your employee's absence from your organisation for the duration of the internship, employers / home organisations are also encouraged to plan for the integration of the intern back into your organisation when the internship is completed.
What you need to do:
- Read the goals of the programme and consider the opportunities and potential benefits for your organisation.
- Identify potential interns amongst your staff and encourage them to propose an internship project in line with your organisations objectives and their professional or career development aspirations.
- Identify a host community organisation to apply with - potential interns amongst your staff may have suggestions, or you may be seeking to strengthen your organisation's relationship/understanding of a community stakeholder, or to build your organisation's knowledge, profile and networks within a specific community of interest. If you do not have a host community organisation to apply with, contact your local Community Development Advisor for advice. Refer to Contact Us.
- Complete the Employer / Home Organisation application processes detailed in the How to Apply section of How The Programme Works. Your agreement to the proposed work programme, hours and period of internship that you are prepared to release your staff member for is required for an application to be eligible.
- Applications close on Thursday 23 March 2006. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.