A survey of over 1,000 jobseekers found the vast majority strongly agree that local and central government should encourage organisations to employ more interns and apprentices, according to Hays, the leading recruiting expert. When asked which type of qualification or training would help young people succeed in their career, on the job training (93%), apprenticeships (90%) and internships (84%) topped the table compared to 78% who said degrees, clearly showing that workplace training is considered to be the best route to career development.

The overwhelming majority of jobseekers also disagreed with the negative stereotypes and anti-internship feeling that has been growing recently. Over half of respondents (53%) disagreed that companies often use internships just to get free labour. They still think internships and apprenticeships are quite or very effective in helping young people succeed in their careers.

Charles Logan, Director at Hays comments, “In a highly competitive and crowded job market, internships and other career training schemes are increasingly important to make sure employees can get a foot in the door, make their CV stand out from the crowd and continue to learn new skills. Career training programmes give employers the chance to work with potential employees and train new workers from scratch. Our survey found that on the job training (68%) and using an in-house training department (50%) were both viewed as an effective use of training”.

Nearly half (45%) of jobseekers said their employer had paid for their career training. However, the survey found that jobseekers value training so highly that over a third (38%) paid for their own career development and over half (55%) of these were willing to invest up to 6% of their salary to support long term career goals. 66% also agreed that internships shouldn’t just be the preserve for those starting out in the workplace, but that they should be open to people switching careers.

“Jobseekers understand it’s competitive for jobs and are clearly willing to invest in their own career development, so employers should communicate their career training programmes to attract potential recruits to help their business grow in the long term. Internships can be a really useful tool for attracting talent and helping professionals to develop skills – no matter what their age or background” adds Logan.