Summertime internship offers jobs and sex
Dunedin ICT industry expected to offer 120 jobs by june
Established in 2008 by the University, Otago Polytechnic and members of the ICT industry, the internship is “about supporting Dunedin businesses by getting quality students to meet business needs.” O’Brien said, “the aim is to retain talent and skills in the city, to increase the flow of top quality students into local businesses to build capability, and grow export-ready businesses.”
The internship was specially created as an answer to issues surrounding job vacancies in the Dunedin ICT Business Cluster, a cluster that aims to support the growth of ICT businesses in Dunedin. “[In 2005] 18 companies in the cluster had 109 job vacancies and struggled to fill the vacancies. This resulted in considerable strain on existing staff, many of whom were often required to work in areas not specified to their field.”
The success of the programme is evident with one in three interns normally offered either a full, part time or contract position. O’Brien said “internships help students understand what attitudes, habits and communication skills they should adopt if they want to be successful in any given work environment.” The programme now includes businesses from Biotech/Health Technologies, Creative, ICT, F&B, Niche Manufacturing and other sectors.
In terms of growth for the internship programme, O’Brien said Sexy Summer Jobs has now attracted funding through the DCC Annual Plan to enable 40 interns to be placed each summer season, and an application to fund a further eight interns was recently submitted to the DCC. O’Brian also said, “ideally the growth should come from the business community where the programme is dominated by the ‘demand’ created from businesses for student talent. Business ‘need’ is the key driver.”
Graduate Employer Liaison Robyn Bridges, at the University’s Career Development Centre, said the internships “give students relevant experience and knowledge, which is so important in the competitive graduate employment market. Internship experience gives them self-confidence, and the opportunity to apply their learning to the real world of work.”
Students can find out more about the programme and have the opportunity to meet businesses face to face at a speed dating-type event in September, or by visiting sexysummerjobs.com.