Chinwag's Practical Guide to Internships: An Introduction

Gordon: chinwag's first tech internThe benefits of having an intern are numerous. It’s not just cheap labour and someone to make the tea.

Many organisations are reaping the rewards that come with an internship and a skilled graduate.

It was a case of unknown territory when Chinwag took on Gregory, our first tech intern. It took time and effort to get him started, but the investment paid off and the work he did was invaluable.

So, in the sprit of this, we’ve created a series of blog posts, from an employer's perspective, that aim to cover everything you need to know about offering an internship.

Finding someone who’s ambitious, hardworking and disciplined, for a relatively low wage can be difficult. Do you have to pay an intern? If so, how much? Minimum wage or a performance based salary? What about a contract? And what responsibilities can an intern take on? What planning is needed to get the most out of the programme, for the intern and the employer?

Today there are a number of UK companies who are taking the initiative and making it their mission to improve the employability of graduates. Over the next few weeks Chinwag will be working with the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in their Talent Taskforce. The digital trade body is collaborating with media owners, agencies and educational institutions to reach out to graduate, promote careers in the digital sector and encourage Summer internships in 2010.

We’ll be getting expert advice from, the company set up by interns for interns and E-skills UK, is the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology who partner with Google and IBM amongst others to develope internship programmes for the IT sector.

Any legal qualms you may have will be tackled by Danvers Baillieu technology lawyer at Winston & Strawn, and founder of Bootlaw - the place to go for essential law advice for start ups and emergening tech companies.

We'd like to hear your stories, too. Please leave us a comment about your experience of being an intern, or running a programme for interns, your top tips, your worst nightmares. Got a success story or tales of woe? We'd love to helpatchinwag [dot] com (hear from you).

For all you need to know about taking on an intern be sure and read our posts over the next couple of weeks. We’ll have all the legal, practical and moral bases covered. Keep your eyes on Chinwag or follow @chinwag on Twitter.