Business: Internships and Apprenticeships

Office internIs your company looking to acquire new staff? Or maybe mulling the possibility of taking on additional hires in the future? Depending upon your industry and your organization’s needs, an internship or apprenticeship program could be a great way to procure and nurture top talent for the betterment of your business.


With an internship program, individuals hoping to garner “real world” experience and learn more about a business or industry take on a paid or unpaid position for a period of about 3 – 4 months.

Internships are typically geared toward younger job-hopefuls, but it is not uncommon for more mature individuals in the midst of a career change to assume such positions. If you are interested in recruiting younger prospects, try setting up affiliations with nearby universities or community colleges. If you’re hoping to cast a wider net and reel in a larger and more varied pool of candidates, traditional online or print advertisements are good options.

While any organization can hire interns, there are strict labor laws governing the pay and job functions among other details. In fact, the role and pay of interns has come under focus following a few high profile cases of internship mistreatment. Bottom line, ensure that you’re in full compliance to avoid what could otherwise turn into a public relations disaster.


Apprenticeships are like internships in many ways, each involve an individual looking to learn from a more experienced professional with the hopes of acquiring skills to help secure a job in the future. However, the similarities end there.

In the states of Maryland and Virginia, apprenticeships are official, state regulated programs that bring together workers with organizations in need of additional human capital. And therefore any business looking to garner access to the field of applicants must first register with the state.

Unlike internships, apprentices are always paid, and the programs are much longer in duration (1 – 4 years) and incorporate classroom learning in addition to direct on-the-job training. Given the lengthier commitment, apprentices can actually help provide your business with a much-needed level of operational consistency and low turnover.

If you’re company is in need of an employee equipped with a wider, and more varied skill set or enjoy the flexibility bringing in candidates for a short “trial period,” an internship is a better option. If in the future you anticipate the need to hire for a very specific, technical position, consider registering with the state apprenticeship program.

Have you had any experience with internship or apprenticeship programs?

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