London Builds a Better Internship

New internship program designed to give valuable work experience to people facing barriers to employment including new Canadians and recent grads.

By Craig Gilbert, London Community News

The term “internship” usually invokes images of young aspiring professionals fetching lattes and answering phones, probably for free.

That won’t be the case for the new graduates, new Canadians and persons with disabilities who will be taking part in a new paid internship program at the City of London.

“It’s not about getting coffee, it’s not about filing,” Pat Foto, manager of employee and client relations in the CAO’s office. “We want them to have meaningful work. We want it to be work that will have an impact on the corporation and give the intern the opportunity to do some real hands-on stuff.”

The four-month internships, three starting in September and three more in January, will pay $13-$15 per hour. They are designed to give people with barrier to new skills and improved marketability to employers, provide opportunities to network and acclimatize to the Canadian workplace.

“In particular for immigrants, this may be their first entry into a formalized workplace,” Foto explained. “In a lot of countries because of the heat, for example, they don’t work nine-to-five. Often the way we do things is very different from the way they do it in their country and that can be very daunting for people.”

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