Connected – Internships for Teens
In a quote, by Mitch Kapor, he states “If we’re not creating an educated and skilled workforce, there is just no conceivable way that we’re going to be economically competitive.”
Teenagers face a number of challenges as they prepare to enter the workforce. Connected – Internships for Teens – Businesses have the opportunity to lessen some of those challenges, by guiding and fostering teens toward a career path. Internships can provide students in high school through college to help them to develop the skills and gain the necessary experiences they will need to be successful.
Summer internships keep youth coming back, and helps businesses with their own workforce development. With the proper focus on coaching, youth can make better decisions when it comes to things like college majors and career plans for their future. In return, businesses can look forward to increasing their workforce in the long run, as graduates seek to become full-time employees.
Many schools provide career days where businesses can come to the school for one day, and actively recruit youth to work in their companies and organizations. This gives both the youth and the employer an opportunity to see if there is a match. Youth have such untapped hidden potential, you might find you have your next technological whiz kid on the team, or a technology expert in the early stages. It’s an open field of untapped knowledge – youth.
Companies that allow youth to shadow and lay hands on a portion of a project – is the best education ever. It builds self-esteem, it’s engaging, and keeps youth motivated to return to your business or organization summer after summer until graduation.
Another way to help is to provide scholarships within a specific field that match your company’s goals and helps you retain this new trusted employee. Offer training packages if youth will sign on with your organization after college. There are endless options, if you really want to retain an employee and help foster their careers.
When you set up your internship, begin by training youth on the way YOU would want to learn. Be open and honest with them, and acknowledge that you understand the learning curve. Once you have a youth who is committed to returning to your organization, you have succeeded in creating a “career-minded” individual. Hopefully a trustworthy and competent individual as well. They should know your lingo.
Work with the schools, your Department of Workforce Services, and other businesses in the area to recruit new talent into your business. Attend job fairs, and post your organizational message where youth can see. Be a voice in the community.
Remember that K-12 and Colleges also offer internship opportunities for youth to work toward an educational degree. You have youth gardens, and Job Corp, construction, cooking, marketing, advertising, and art. The fields for internships are limitless. What it takes are a few individuals willing to invest the time, energy, and finance into training the next workforce.
Youth have to learn about spending and saving – especially during those lean college years. Set your internship pay at a reasonable rate. Understand that youth, if they are not given an equitable amount to compensate for the work they are performing – they may not come back. Incentive payments are another option based on performance.
Cut your losses if it is not working out. Potentially, youth will gain from the experience and will build from that as they mature. A lot of growing up is exploration. Our careers should have a lot of focus and avenues to explore. Some internships work, some do not. We have to accept it as a learning opportunity either way.
Hopefully, your experience as a coach and their experience as an intern will be equally beneficial. Enjoy the experience yourself. It does not have to be one of drudgery, it can actually be fun. If you like to teach or coach, you might find a new niche’ for yourself.
It is a great way to give back. Internships! Make a plan to include internships into your company today.