virtual internships, bright network
© Milkos

Bright Network received 100,000 applications for their virtual internships, which attempted to fill an experience gap left by COVID-19

Over 45,000 students and graduates have taken part in a virtual internship this Summer created by Bright Network. 

The focus on preventing catastrophic damage to the next generation’s working possibilities is evident

Ending Thursday, Internship Experience UK was the nation’s largest virtual careers experience, offering three-day internship experiences for all students and graduates across the country to help them gain skills, boost employability and build their network virtually.

Participants have benefited from direct access to world-leading employers such as Accenture, Bloomberg, Google, Goldman Sachs and Vodafone, who have all delivered training for the programme, between 29 June to 16 July. The scheme has also had the support of Tech UK, CBI and the Department of Work and Pensions.

A total of 100,000 people applied for a virtual placement across six core sectors (technology; business, operations and marketing; finance and professional services; consulting; and law).

What is Internship Experience UK?

Free and open to everyone aged 18 and over, Bright Network’s Internship Experience UK was designed to support those looking for future career opportunities – regardless of background. Sixty percent of applicants identified as BAME (12% have black heritage) whilst 57% were female, 5% were LGBTQ and 41% were first generation university students or qualified for free school meals.

The scheme was a direct and practical response to COVID-19 concerns by educational institutions, university career services and businesses.

Bright Network’s recent report, What Do Graduates Want? Data Insights from the Future Workforce, revealed a major drop in confidence and a lack of employment opportunities for the next generation as a result of COVID-19.

The survey of over 5,000 students found that 63% of students have seen changes such as applications put on pause due to the virus. Almost a third of those who had already received an offer (29%) have had an internship or graduate job offer withdrawn.

Reactions to the scheme

Latika Sivaji, student at University of Swansea, commented:

“Internship Experience UK appealed to me as it is an opportunity for students to gain work experience with world-leading employers and it also allows students to explore different career paths from the comfort of their homes. This experience covers all aspects of an internship such as projects and networking. Through this experience, I can expand my professional network by connecting with different employers and like-minded individuals which has been difficult during this unprecedented period.”

James Uffindell, founder and CEO of Bright Network, commented:

“If you look at the recent research into the economic effects of coronavirus it is clear that the downturn will be felt most acutely by young people.

“Our latest Bright Network report revealed the increased stress that students are under – with 83% feeling greater pressure as a result of the pandemic – and the legitimate concerns they have about the current job market.

“On the road to economic recovery, we need to make sure that the next generation has all the skills, connections and support it can get in identifying opportunities and making the most of them.

“We wanted to create Internship Experience UK as a tangible way to help students navigate this difficult time and still have options to progress. We’re excited to be offering an opportunity for students of all walks of life to have access to some of the world’s best employers, in spite of the difficult circumstances.”

Following a funding round led by Maven Capital that raised £3.5 million, Bright Network has invested £100,000 into the programme to help support the next generation of talent through this uncertain period.

Internship Experience UK was supported by: Accenture; Alpha FMC; Aston University; Bain; Bloomberg; Brunel University London; City, University of London; Confederation of British Industry (CBI); Coventry University; De Montford University; Durham University Law School; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Elixirr; EY; Goldman Sachs; Goldsmiths, University of London; Google; The Guardian; Institute of Student Employers; J.P. Morgan; King’s College London; Lloyds Banking Group; Macquarie; Marks & Spencer; Manchester Met University; Newcastle University; Nottingham University; Procter & Gamble; PwC; Queen Margaret University, Scotland; Queen Mary, University of London; Royal Holloway, University of London; SOAS, University of London; St Andrews University; Swansea University; TechUK; University College London; University of Bath; University of Birmingham; University of Hertfordshire; University of Huddersfield; University of Kent; University of Lincoln; University of London, The Careers Group; The Department for Work and Pensions; University of Nottingham; University of Surrey; University of Warwick Law School; University of York; and Vodafone. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here