Frequently Asked Questions - Employers

FAQs for Employers

1. What are the benefits of hosting an intern or project student?
2. What are my obligations as a host employer?
3. What is the difference between an Internship and Project?
4. How do I find the right type of student/s for the work I need completed?
5. What is the process of securing an intern / project student?
6. Do I qualify to host an intern or project student?
7. What if I do not qualify to host an intern or project student?
8. What support will I receive as a host employer?
9. Am I able to host a student for the less or more than the 80 hours that is required?
10. Am I able to host a student outside the academic calendar?
11. Are students covered by the University’s insurance?
12. Are there any confidentiality agreements in place to protect my organisation’s privacy or intellectual property?

 

1. What are the benefits of hosting an intern or project student?

The benefits of hosting intern or project students include:

  • assistance in busy periods and with large projects
  • bringing fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the organisation
  • have the opportunity to assess future talent
  • all professionals to contribute to the development of the industry

2. What are my obligations as a host employer?

Internships and projects are more than simply ‘work experience’ for the student. It is professional and personal development designed to supplement the student’s academic studies. Within these broad parameters, the student and organisation will engage in discussions to plan and agree on the goals and objectives to be achieved within set time frames. Organisations are asked to:

  • allocate challenging tasks and responsibilities, which are within the capability of the individual student/s;
  • adhere to OH&S guidelines and the Fair Work Act 2009 (for Australian-based organisations)
  • supervise student work and/or provide professional advice and guidance in accordance with learning objective agreed at the beginning of the internship or project; and
  • provide written feedback at the end of the internship/ project.

3. What is the difference between an Internship and Project

Internships consist of students working on site as part of an organisation during a minimum of 80 hours. Internships are generally unpaid and are formally assessed. Working days and hours are flexible and entirely negotiable between the student and the organisation. Students are expected to be supervised by and have a mentoring-style relationship with a senior person in a role, which relates to the discipline of the particular student. The supervisor must be available to the student for guidance as well as regular feedback.
 

Tasks given to students should be meaningful and appropriate to their level of skill. Administration and non-relevant tasks should be kept to no more than 10% of the entire duration of the internship.
 

For further information and to see if your organisation fits the university’s requirements, please visit the Suitability section. 
 

A project is a planned body of work provided by an employer to an individual student or team of students that results in the delivery of an agreed, tangible outcome. Projects are formally assessed, and can involve either a single discipline or a collaboration of disciplines offered within the School. The project consists of students working off-site for a minimum of 80 hours (for each individual), however the employer is expected to meet with the students on at least three occasions to brief, monitor and evaluate the progress. Projects are generally unpaid. The project should be guided by a manager who is suitably experienced in the relevant discipline area/s. Tasks within the project should be meaningful and appropriate to the student’s level of skills. Suggested tasks and skill sets are listed here.

4. How do I find the right type of student/s for the work I need completed?

Host employers may select interns or project students from a number of different specialisations. Click here to see the type of work and skill sets our students are able to offer your organisation. In most cases, a student may have skills across a number of different specialisations. If not, host organisations may host more than one student to form a multi-disciplinary team. If you have any doubts or queries, please contact us to discuss your options.

5. What is the process of securing an intern / project student?

UniSA staff can provide support for employers at all stages of the experience. Information is provided to assist employers find a student, set tasks, manage the experience and reflect on the outcomes achieved. The steps below demonstrate the usual for hosting an intern or project student:

  • Employers register their interest
  • Students apply
  • Interview and selection (interviews are primarily for internships)
  • Tasks and outcomes are agreed upon
  • Insurance forms and confidentiality agreement statements (if applicable) are completed
  • Induction and OH&S procedures take place and internship/ project begins
  • Internship/ Project concludes and final feedback is obtained For more detail on each of these steps, click here (link to ‘The Process’ section.

6. Do I qualify to host an intern or project student?

In order to provide our students with the best quality learning experience, and to ensure host organisations gain the most out of the process, we have outlined a number of screening criteria for host organisations wishing to recruit internship and project students. Please refer to the ‘Suitability’ section to determine if your organisation meets the university’s requirements.

7. What if I do not qualify to host an intern or project student?

If you are not able to meet our internship or project criteria, offering a non-assessed, work experience opportunity is still a possibility. For Australian-based organisations, please visit Career Services for more information.

8. What support will I receive as a host employer?

 

UniSA staff can provide support for employers at all stages of the experience. Information is provided to assist employers find an intern, set tasks, manage the experience and reflect on the outcomes achieved. Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

For further information on guidance and advice for host employers, click here.

9. Am I able to host a student for the less or more than the 80 hours that is required?

The minimum requirement for internships and projects is 80 hours per student, regardless of whether they are working individually or as part of a multi-disciplinary team. There is flexibility, however, for students to work beyond these hours if necessary. This must be discussed and negotiated between the host employer, the student and the University.

If the type of work you have in mind will not require 80 hours, if you are in Australia, you may still be able to host a student through the Work Placement Scheme offered by the University’s Career Services. This allows students to gain non-assessed, work experience opportunities that are less restricted by duration as well as other requirements.

10. Am I able to host a student outside the academic calendar?

Ideally internships and projects should take place within the academic calendar (Study Period 2: February to June and Study Period 5: July to November). However, there is some flexibility in hosting students outside this period if it better suits your needs. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.  Hong Kong internships run in different study periods.  Please contact us for further information.

11. Are students covered by the University’s insurance?

The University of South Australia’s Public Liability, Professional Indemnity and Personal Accident insurance covers all Australian-based students, who:

  • are currently enrolled;
  • are undertaking an assessed internship or project, or a non-assessed work experience; opportunity, approved by the University;
  • have obtained a signature from the host organisation via the University’s FS23 Insurance Form, and
  • are receiving no remuneration of any kind.

Students are required to provide written proof to their host organisation that they are covered by the above insurance. Students undertaking internships or projects interstate or overseas are still covered under this insurance.
If the host organisation wishes to offer remuneration for the student’s internship or placement work, then it becomes the responsibility of the organisation to arrange the appropriate insurance cover.

Please note, this does not apply to Hong Kong students.

 12. Are there any confidentiality agreements in place to protect my organisation’s privacy or intellectual property?

We recognise that your organisation may be working with sensitive material and the involvement of University staff and students could be of concern to you. All students and staff are expected to adhere to any confidentiality agreement statements provided by an organisation. Any work produced as a result of an internship or placement will be treated as commercial-in-confidence by the academic supervisor and will not be used for any other purpose unless permission is granted in writing by the organisation.

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