Six interns have celebrated their time working at South Somerset District Council with an informal reception for Councillors and colleagues and a presentation of their work and achievements over the past year. Chief Executive Mark Williams presented each of the interns with a certificate.
The interns highlighted a rich variety of experiences with the Council ranging from developing communication skills and knowledge of office systems and software, to learning about tenancy law, teaching bushcraft skills and even appearing on television!
There was also warm praise for their colleagues, from the interns:
“It’s been a privilege to have worked with such a close, friendly and hard-working team”
“The first job I’ve had where I’ve genuinely felt appreciated, useful and respected”
“The team have been very welcoming, giving up their valuable time to teach and guide me”
SSDC internships offer a fixed-term opportunity for someone trying to enter the workplace for the first time or obtain professional development. It is expected that work of meaningful value to SSDC will be completed. There is no guarantee of permanent employment at the end of an internship.
The scheme started in 2012 through the strong commitment and backing of SSDC Leader, Councillor Ric Pallister and the Council’s Management Board.
Councillor Pallister said: “This was designed as a win-win initiative. We have young people leaving college and university with qualifications but no experience to bring to a job application. This scheme offers them the first rung on the employment ladder after nine months genuine employment, not short term work experience. In the process the Council has given them this invaluable opportunity and in return we have had excellent value for money. We were determined to play our part in offering young people the opportunity to gain the experiences and new skills they need in order to gain long-term employment and that is being achieved. I hope and would encourage other local employers to follow suit and provide that same employment kick start.”
Vega Sturgess – Strategic Director for Operations and Customer Focus – has provided mentoring for the intern group throughout their year at SSDC and said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the interns, with their vitality, new ideas and enthusiasm. We thank them for their hard work on a variety of projects and wish them the very best in their future careers.”
With this first year proving such a success for interns and SSDC, the scheme is to continue. A placement with the Octagon Theatre has already been advertised and two more placements are to be offered soon.