Preliminary is of course a good design of the stage.
To design the internship it is advisable to carefully choose the area or business function in which to involve the intern. This work will have to be done by the company, having the objectives set through the realization of the internship clearly understood internally, having also heard the promoter.
At the beginning the company can identify more functions that lend themselves to the development of internship activities, comparing them with the candidates. It is then necessary to evaluate the internal resources (ie the period in which the internship will take place and its duration, the workloads of that area / function during the training period, the staff employed) to be sure of selecting the area or the function (and example kitchen, room, etc.), which presents the best organizational conditions for the success of the experience.
A key to the training quality of internships: design "by skills"
Knowing how to identify in a clear, realistic and measurable way the set of skills that can be developed during the internship is important since it allows, at its conclusion, to assess whether the competences set at the beginning as an objective to be achieved have been achieved or not, and to what extent. To carefully define the skills to be developed during the internship, there must be a close collaboration between host companies and promoters in the training planning phase: only in this way will it be possible to define the internship path in a manner consistent with the educational path (scholastic / university) of the person and to identify, jointly and by mutual agreement, the skills that can realistically be acquired over the period of the experience.
Communication with the promoter is essential for planning and organizing school-work alternation activities.
There are two types of information that the company exchanges with the promoter.
The first concern organizational aspects and allow the two parties involved to exchange information and data necessary in real time to guarantee the good progress of the experience. In this case, it is mainly the two tutors (the company and the promoter) who communicate with each other whenever they deem it appropriate.
The second ones concern the aspects of a "qualitative" nature and are collected to evaluate the progress and the results of the internship. Different tools are used: questionnaires, summary sheets, reports, etc.
It is therefore essential to design the internship consistently with the training path and to identify, jointly and jointly, the skills that can be realistically acquired over the period of the internship.
Businesses can do a lot at this stage and provide promoters with important help in identifying skills. In fact, they have always been accustomed to evaluating the work performances performed by their own collaborators and can, therefore, indicate with greater clarity the set of skills and abilities that can be concretely and effectively achieved in the stage offered.
However, this design attitude requires a cultural change, as well as a new methodological approach. Indeed:
• the promoter must be able to fully understand the professional context of the company and the value of the work that takes place there, trying to grasp all the relevant aspects from the educational point of view;
• the company must be capable of describing and expressing its production processes and the criteria used to assess the possession of the skills necessary to manage the processes in an effective and understandable way.
Finally the company tutor expresses an evaluation on the organization and realization of the paths through the preparation of questionnaires;
For evaluation purposes the external tutor provides the educational institution with every element to verify and evaluate the students' activities and the effectiveness of the training processes
How the company can use the internship results effectively
The activity of checking the results should be "capitalized" by the company.
In this regard, it is suggested to dedicate time to the archiving of the training projects, marking observations and reflections in specific work forms that avoid the company to repeat errors and allow, instead, to introduce improvements for future stages.
The systematic use of the results can be used to:
• create an archive of completed projects and speed up the planning of new internships;
• create a thematic archive (area, contents) to promote, according to the life cycle of the company (stability, growth, development of new productions, etc.), projects related to the main interests;
• create a "portfolio" of contacts with schools, universities and other training institutions to consolidate partnerships and quality collaborations;
• create an archive of trainee data to have a list of potential candidates sorted by qualification and aptitude.
Stage evaluation tools
The company and the promoter can define tools for monitoring the stage and final evaluation of the results.
Here are some examples of the most used tools:
• Entry questionnaire. It is aimed at knowing the young person's expectations. It can be prepared by the tutor of the promoter, perhaps by inserting questions of interest to the company.
• Daily notebook. It is a sort of diary in which the intern will be able to write notes and personal observations on the main events of the day. At the end of the internship the reading of the diary will help the young person in the ex-post reconstruction of the various activities carried out and thus become a precious trace for the drafting of the final report. It can be provided by the company or by the promoter.
• Activity verification cards. They aim to verify, over the course of the experience, respect for time, content and objectives. They can be filled out by both the company tutor and the trainee.
• Periodic interviews. Some companies find it useful to fix a meeting moment, whose frequency is linked to the duration of the internship (for example weekly), in which the young person discusses the problems and the positive aspects of the experience he is doing directly with the contact person of the stage and with the company tutor.
• Questionnaire or intern evaluation report. Investigate, at the conclusion of the internship, the opinion of the young person on aspects such as the corporate climate, the interest in the activities carried out, the learning achieved, the relevance between the contents of the internship and the training curriculum, the usefulness of the experience for future choices, problems emerged, suggestions, etc. Company and promoter can choose whether to prepare a common one or whether to use two different ones.
• Questionnaire or evaluation report of the company tutor. Collects, at the end of the internship, the judgment of the tutor on the profile of the young person: skills, abilities, availability, insertion skills, etc. If the internship gives course to a training credit, it will be the same Internship Office of the promoting training institution to offer to the company tutor the support necessary to compile this document. The young person can use the card issued by the tutor, attaching it to their resume.