The Internship wins Sixth Form Colleges Association award

8billionideas’ programme ‘The Internship’ wins Sixth Form Colleges Association’s Enterprise and Employability Award, recognising its innovative way of offering valuable experience to hundreds of students.

Putting the experience into work experience, the virtual three-day internship programme with 8billionideas has been awarded the 2022 Enterprise and Employability Award by the Sixth Form Colleges Association.

As 39% of business decision-makers say that the main problem when hiring young people is a lack of experience, ‘The Internship’ is designed to effectively help students bridge this gap.

David Harkin, CEO of 8billionideas, highlights how it serves as an accessible way for students to get exposure to a unique, entrepreneurial environment.

"Through this programme, students get the chance to take part in a fast-paced educational programme that will set them up superbly for the future,” he explains.

“Once a student has graduated from ‘The Internship’, we will make sure that they get a certificate with a blurb that can go on their LinkedIn or on job and university applications,” he adds.

Effectively reaching hundreds of students

Born in the midst of the pandemic at the end of 2020, ‘The Internship’ was conceived as a way to alleviate the challenges faced by many careers advisors. Generally stretched thin, careers professionals regularly grapple with providing a large number – often hundreds – of students with work placements.

One person who was intimately familiar with this struggle was Cat Jayne Elmes, Work Experience and Alumni Coordinator at Esher Sixth Form College. Her input played a key role in instigating the project that became ‘The Internship’, ultimately leading to its implementation at the College.

“’The Internship’ is a brilliant opportunity. Not only to get a meaningful work experience, to hit those Gatsby Benchmarks, and also to hit the numbers in college,“ she says.

Launched to students in early 2021, the programme quickly gained traction, reaching almost 500 registrations in the following months. After more than a year of success, ‘The Internship’ was subsequently shortlisted for the Sixth Form College Association award in 2022.

How it works: future-focused learning

Through ‘The Internship’, students get to work with 8billionideas, an EdTech company centred around future-focused learning. In their placement, they get to explore activities like fundraising, website building, and concept design – always solving tangible, real-life business problems.

The programme is ideal for schools that are looking to offer their students an introduction to work experience, internships, or even an insight into the future jobs market. With a strong track record of positive feedback, students appreciate that the programme also features guest speakers from across the world that offer actionable tips and tricks from their careers.

Sam Crick, Business Development Specialist at 8billionideas, elaborates on how the programme has helped careers professionals while simultaneously benefitting hundreds of eager students.

“Work experience is near the top of the list of challenges for careers leaders every single year and ‘The Internship’ has welcomed almost 1,000 students since 2021. The students’ engagement, enthusiasm, and openness to learning has blown me away. ‘The Internship’ is work experience reshaped, reimagined, and redesigned – I cannot wait to grow our partnership with Esher Sixth Form College and give every student access to world-class opportunities,” he says.

Is ‘The Internship’ right for your students?

Find out more about the programme here.

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