It has been proven that internships and work based learning opportunities provide a level of experience that employers want. Workforce centers and training programs have stressed that presenting a Traditional Internship Model, where the employer provides all components of the internship, is a hard sell. In turn, the job seekers and employers are missing out on work experience connections that would solidify skills for the worker and enhance profitability for the employer, a win for both sides. Internships are an essential piece of the training and employment deliverables for workforce centers, so a new way of presenting internships and work based learning opportunities to employers could open new doors. The emphasis of this new way of thinking revolves around community engagement to build strong relationships that will enhance the workforce in any local area. This is the idea behind the 4P’s of Internships Model.
To better understand the 4P’s of Internships Model, it is important to define the 4P’s individually. Please use the accompanying color graphic titled Thinking Beyond the Traditional Internship Model as a guide while the components and ways these models can be used is described below.
- Project is the most important component of an internship. The project is what delivers the enhancement of skills for the job seeker and fills the need of the employer. The project component can be singular in nature or combine a number of smaller projects to fulfill a timeframe for the intern. Projects can also be presented by just one employer, or a group of smaller businesses to provide more experience and/or variety to the intern.
- Place stands for the physical location an intern will be reporting to during their time within the internship. This place doesn’t necessarily have to be at the project provider’s site, as long as it provides the equipment and leadership needed to complete the project. A workforce center or community organization could provide a place for an intern to work, which will be explained further below.
- Personnel refers to the leader or mentor who will oversee the project. The supervising personnel generally have similar skills to the project being completed in order to provide guidance as needed to the intern. They also ensure company policy is followed during the internship. In the example below, you will see how remote personnel and an onsite internship manager work together to oversee their intern and assist with project completion.
- Payment covers the monetary compensation for the hours and work the intern has provided. This payment can come directly from the project provider, a community organization, federal/state grants like WIOA or a combination of funding sources.