Just because it is the start of Summer, it doesn’t mean that work doesn’t carry on and for many young people out there they will be entering the workplace as an intern for the first time.

Gaining experience in the workplace is essential, even for graduates because many companies won’t entertain employing someone who hasn’t had an internship.

Essentially, an internship is on-the-job training for the profession or career that you are considering entering. There have been several press reports in recent years about unpaid internships, but generally speaking a company should offer at least the minimum wage if the work you are doing benefits them.

You can read up about the national minimum wage law in the UK that says anybody who qualifies as a worker and is 21 or over must be paid at least the minimum wage. Sometimes an internship can be part of a university or college course and in these cases you may not be paid.

Internships can last from a couple of weeks, to a Summer placement over two months and, in some cases, up to a year, depending on the placement.

Look at an internship as a way of finding out if you really want to work in a particular field. You may have dreams of working for a big PR company but once you find out exactly what is involved in the role that you take on, you may change your mind.

Thousands of students and graduates apply for internships each year, so make sure you take advantage and don’t waste the opportunity to gain useful and relevant experience if you are lucky enough to get one. Be proactive, ask questions and never worry about asking for help if there is something you don’t understand. Internships are also a great way to make contacts that could help you along your career path in the future.

BC Training can help prepare you and give you the right skills to see you through any internship.