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Millennials call for companies to ‘step up’ and improve summer internship schemes

According to new research[i] developed by Lloyds Banking Group’s social mobility programme, Lloyds Scholars, 18-30 year olds said they spent the majority of their internship printing (53%) and photocopying documents (52%), making tea/ picking up lunch (33%) and cold calling (18%) rather than tackling tasks that would enhance their development.

  • Eight out of ten (83%) 18-30 year olds believe their summer internship were more useful to the company they were employed by, than it was to them
  • Most spent their time printing (53%) photocopying documents (52%), making tea/ picking up lunch (33%) and cold calling (18%)
  • Only half (53%) believe that their skills were taken into consideration and appropriately matched
  • A fifth (21%) believe it had no impact or even a negative impact on their professional opportunities

According to new research[i] developed by Lloyds Banking Group’s social mobility programme, Lloyds Scholars, 18-30 year olds said they spent the majority of their internship printing (53%) and photocopying documents (52%), making tea/ picking up lunch (33%) and cold calling (18%) rather than tackling tasks that would enhance their development. 

The research into the value of internships shows that millennials are seeking meaningful skills and are challenging organisations to enhance their own internship programmes.

After being assigned to a post, only half (53%) of 18-30 year olds believed that their skills were taken into consideration and appropriately matched. The findings highlighted that just under a third (32%) thought it had a very positive impact on their employability skills and just over a third (37%) strongly agreed that their internship presented opportunities to develop new skills and try new things.

When it came to gaining real-life business experience, three quarters (76%) thought their placement had a positive or very positive impact, but a fifth (21%) believed it had either no impact or even a negative impact on their professional opportunities.

Looking towards their future careers, a quarter (25%) said it had no impact or that it made them feel less positive about the future. Only three out of ten (32%) of 18-30 year olds felt that the internship possibly boosted their employability, while one in twenty (5%) said it had a negative impact on their employability altogether.

David Rowsell, Head of Education and Employability Programmes for Lloyds Banking Group said: “This research highlights how important it is to tailor internships to meet young people’s needs so they can use the experience to strengthen their skills, abilities and ultimately boost their employability. The Lloyds Scholars Programme aims to improve opportunities for students to allow them to go on to secure graduate level employment. This goes directly to the heart of our business strategy and helps us deliver our commitment to invest for the long-term economic future of the UK and help Britain prosper."

The Lloyds Scholars Programme is looking to address these concerns as the organisation is currently hosting over 400[ii] summer internships across the Group; its biggest intake to date. The programme offers talented undergraduates at its nine partner universities two paid summer internships where students receive opportunities to develop their employability skills and professional mentoring. In return, all Scholars commit to at least 100 hours of skills based volunteering in their communities each academic year, where they demonstrate vital employability skills including time management, leadership and entrepreneurial business skills.

More information is available at www.lloyds-scholars.com.


i Research conducted By Censuswide on behalf of Lloyds Scholars programme was carried out June 2017. Sample was 250 respondents aged 18-25 on their internship experiences in the last five years. Research was carried out on an online panel.
ii 400 internships taking place across the business, 199 of these are for the Lloyds Scholars Programme.