Internships offer an attractive route into some of the UK’s top jobs with almost three-quarters of graduate employers hiring interns this year, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

The AGR’s annual survey highlighted a 13% year-on-year increase in the number of internships on offer, with 45% of 2015 interns going on to secure graduate jobs in the same company this year. The survey also showed one in ten employers convert more than 83% of their interns into graduate hires.

The AGR said internships offered by respondents are typically two to three months long and paid, with intern salaries increasing at a faster rate than graduate salaries. This year the median intern wage was £330 a week– an increase of four per cent and equivalent to £17,160 a year. Meanwhile, median salaries for graduate programmes among respondents have risen by two per cent year-on-year to £27,500.

Banks, engineering and accountancy firms were found to make the most use of interns, hiring them in the largest volumes. In addition, banks pay the second highest salary (£21,000) after investment banking (£30,000).

However, the AGR also pointed out that internships aren’t the only viable route onto a graduate scheme. Employers are targeting students at a younger age with the number of higher apprenticeship programmes and school leaver programmes doubling in the last four years.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive at the Association of Graduate Recruiters said: “If you need a job, get work experience. As well as a solid introduction to working life, you will develop skills that will make you more employable. Employers value internships in particular as they get a chance to see what you bring to the organisation. Make a good impression and you’re very likely to be offered a job at the end of it.

“Many employers have recognised the benefits interns bring, so invest and place a lot of value on them. However, while the image of internships is changing, coming a long way from its tea-making roots, this isn’t representative of all businesses. Make sure you get the right opportunity for you and have a clear idea of what you want to get out of it. Remember that internships are work, so you should receive at least the minimum wage.”


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