Many students and recent graduates have had internships cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
But while some big companies have pulled the plug, a group of manufacturers in the North West are still offering paid work experience.
Made Smarter – who represent small and medium-sized manufacturers in the North West – are on the lookout for tech-savvy students and recent graduates to join them this summer.
Undergraduates, master’s students, PhD candidates and recent graduates can earn £5,760 on the 480-hour digital technology internships – which are carried out either full-time over three months or part-time to fit around studies.
Previous interns have secured jobs within engineering, design and manufacturing.
Luke Hickson, who studied Industrial Digitalisation at Manchester Metropolitan University, secured a job in design and development following a successful internship.
Working at a manufacturer called Fabricon in Ashton-Under-Lyne, he worked on projects involving 3D printing and product development.
Luke said: “Ever since I was young, I’ve had ambitions to become an engineer. This was my first experience of an actual manufacturing facility and was just what I hoped it would be.
“[The internship] gave me the freedom to learn and apply my design skills, while taking me through the ropes of learning all the functions of their operation.
“I have been able to incorporate some of my experiences as proof points in my academic work, and ultimately secure a job.”
Donna Edwards, programme director for Made Smarter, said the digital technology internships were a “win-win” for both students and manufacturers.
She said: “Students and graduates gain industry knowledge, transferable skills and real-life experience while being paid the national living wage, and businesses can benefit from a fully-funded digital native to help them to understand how new technology can transform production.
“Internships and work placements are a vital tool for students making that transition from university to employment.
“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of opportunities, and a lot of uncertainty as to what will be available in the future.
“Made Smarter has been successful in linking digital technology interns to manufacturers all over the North West.
“I would encourage undergraduates in their second and third year, postgraduates at any stage of their course and recent graduates from any UK university to register their interest.”