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A2I Frequently Asked Questions

A2I Frequently Asked Questions

Employers, please visit our Employer Facing Page

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Internships Team will be working remotely, undertaking normal working office hours, Monday-Friday, 9am -5pm, so please use email a2i@exeter.ac.uk as the first point of contact as phone lines will not be answered. If your enquiry is urgent please highlight this in the subject bar of your email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) below are relevant for both potential and current interns.

Final year undergraduate students who meet the Widening Participation (WP) Criteria are eligible to apply for the fully-funded WP funding however, you will need to make sure that you can begin the internship before the date of your graduation. If you are unable to begin the internship full-time before your graduation then we ask that you undertake a few days/hours or complete an induction day before.

A2I is funded to support disadvantaged and under-represented home undergraduate students by providing paid internships to those meeting very specific criteria. The scheme is funded through ring-fenced funds financed through home/UG student tuition fee income and is part of the University’s commitment to the higher education regulator, the Office for Students, to close gaps in graduate outcomes between home UG widening participation students and their peers. These measures are outlined in our Access and Participation Plan which has been approved by the Office for Students.  Monitoring of this this programme and its expenditure is reported to the regulator. The regulatory requirements and associated funding relate to students paying regulated fees only i.e. home/UG and home/PGCE students.

You can apply for a maximum of one employer subsidy (funding for an employer) and one WP 'Help Getting to Work' bursary, if eligible, per year.

Please also note:

  • A2I cannot fund the same internship opportunity more than once i.e. if you have secured an internship with A2I in the previous year then you would have to secure a different opportunity with a different organisation or different Academic (if at the University), to be able to apply again.
  • If you have secured an advertised internship as part of the SBP scheme and the internships team has offered the employer funding to help recruit an Exeter student, then this will not count towards your allocation of A2I funding.

A2I cannot fund the same internship opportunity more than once, you would have to secure a different opportunity with a different organisation or different Academic (if at the University), to be able to apply again.

Please note: If you have secured an advertised internship as part of the SBP scheme and the internships team has offered the employer funding to help recruit an Exeter student, then this will not count towards the student’s allocation of A2I funding.

We can provide funding for eligible internship employers to cover the costs of a proportion of an internship i.e. four weeks of a six week internship, providing the internship is paid for the whole duration.

If you are applying for the WP funding and the internship is with a charity or Statutory organisation or it is being undertaken as part of a credit bearing placement (acting as part of a degree) then we can also provide funding to cover a proportion of your time.

Yes, we would recommend applying for funding as soon as you have secured an internship as funding is issued on a first-some-first basis and can go very quickly. However your internship would need to be undertaken within the same academic year to be able to apply, for example, if your internship is due to commence in summer 2022 you can apply for funding from late September 2021, as this would fall in the the same academic year (21/22).

If you apply in advance we will reserve the funding for you and your employer right away but we will not pay the funding until closer to the time, normally around 1-2 months before you are due to begin.

You can only apply for funding for an internship which are commencing in the current academic year. You will be able to apply for funding for the following academic year in October 2022, once we have received our funding allocation for 2022-2023.

If you would like to provide your employer with further information about the scheme, including eligibilities and terms and conditions, please direct them to the 'Employer Facing A2I Webpages'.

A statutory organisation is an organisation that holds regulatory powers and is created by a statute of Law. These are often organisations that were created to provide public services, examples include county councils, NHS, Social Services, and the Police Service. Other examples include the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Transport for London, Arts Council England and the Olympic Delivery Authority. You can see an extensive list of statutory departments, agencies and public bodies here.

Unfortunately we are unable to support an internship with the following:

  • The Commonwealth and/or the Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Embassies

 No, A2I can only support internships that:

  • are with a UK registered organisation
  • are based in the UK
  • do not include international travel for work

If you are interested in working abroad please visit the University’s Global Employability webpages.

 No, A2I can only support an internship if it:

  • is with an organisation registered and based in the UK. Therefore excludes 'working from home' in the UK for a non UK registered and/or based organisation. 
  • does not include international travel for work

If you are interested in working abroad please visit the University’s Global Employability webpages.

Unfortunately Access to Internships (A2I) is unable to fund an internship with another University.

Unfortunately A2I is unable to support subsidiaries or divisions of large organisations with funding.

Yes, providing the start-up has suitable liability insurance, are able to employ you, offer a contract of employment and can pay you through their own payroll system.

No, unfortunately A2I cannot provide funding for a student start-up company. For help and support starting-up your own business please visit the Enterprise and Student Start up pages.

If you qualify for the Widening Participation (WP) funding then we may be able to provide funding for an internship with an MP or party office providing they can:

  • Pay you at least National Minimum or National Living Wage through the organisations own payroll system.
  • Can accept funding from the University of Exeter - some MP’s have been unable to accept funding from the University due to rules which do not allow them to accept money from third parties.

If you are hoping to solely apply for the WP 'Help Getting to Work’ Bursary then the internship MUST be paid. We cannot provide any funding for an internship with an MP or party office if the internship is unpaid.

No, working from an employer’s home office is not permitted. If an organisation does not have a public office then you would be able to work remotely from your own home and communicate regularly via email, telephone and/or video call.

No, unfortunately we are unable to support self-employment. An example of self-employment is when you have to invoice for your wages, for further information about the differences between employment and self-employment please visit the HMRC website.

If you wish to undertake an A2I internship at the University of Exeter - You will need to begin by Monday 6th June 2022 at the latest, and be completed by Friday 1st July 2022, with all claims submitted.

If you wish to undertake an A2I internship with a SME, Charity or Statutory Organisation - You will need to begin by Monday 22nd August 2022 at the latest (providing you are not in your final year of study*) and complete the internship by Friday 16th September 2022.

*If you are due to graduate in 2022, you will need to make sure that you can begin the internship before the date of your graduation. If you are unable to begin the internship full-time before the date of your graduation then we will ask you to undertake a few days/hours or complete an induction day, before you graduate.

In order to be eligible for the WP University of Exeter Internship Funding you will need to register on eClaims and submit your hours (Claims) weekly and by the timesheet submission deadlines. The last date you can submit claims is Friday 1st July 2022, after this date funding will not be available due to the end of the Universities financial year, when A2I funding gets cleared from our accounts.

Once your application has been approved we will contact the organisation, via email, with details on how they can claim the funding. Your employer will need to invoice the University, once they have returned all of the relevant paperwork (an A2I Internship Agreement and an 'External Supplier Information Request Form') and when they have been provided with a Purchase Order (PO) reference number from A2I.

All paperwork from your employer must be returned by Friday 1st July 2022 and invoices submitted by Friday 22nd July 2022, at the latest. Funding will be paid 30 days after receipt of invoice.

The short answer is yes, it is illegal for any employee to begin work without this documentation in place. At the University, any work undertaken before right to work (RTW) is verified will be treated as voluntary. We would therefore recommend following the below guidance before you begin any work.

If you able to meet face-to-face before the internship begins:

  • You will need to take your original RTW documents along with a photocopy to leave with your employer.
  • Your employer will need to check your original documents face-to-face to confirm likeness and will need to check the documents are genuine and they have not been tampered with.
  • Your employer will need to sign and date the photocopies to confirm that the originals have been verified. They will need to record on each page “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”.
  • Your employer will need to retain the signed and dated copy of the RTW documents for their own records.
  • If your internship is at the University of Exeter, your employer will also need send a verified copy to the eClaims team at e-claims@exeter.ac.uk.

If you are unable to meet face-to-face and/or the internship is a remote opportunity:

  • You will need to send a scanned copy or photograph of your RTW documents via email, to your employer.
  • Arrange a video call with your employer and hold up the original documents to the camera, your employer will then need to check them against the digital copy of the documents which you have previously sent them.
  • Your employer will need to sign and date the photocopies to confirm that the originals have been verified. They will need to record on each page “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”.
  • Your employer will need to retain the signed and dated copy of the RTW documents for their own records.
  • If your internship is at the University of Exeter, your employer will also need send a verified copy to the eClaims team at e-claims@exeter.ac.uk.

A National Insurance Number (NINO) is a number unique to you to help your employer pay your National Insurance contributions; no one else can use this number and it is not related to health insurance. Your NINO is free to apply for, please do not pay an online service to generate a number for you. It is required when you get paid employment in the UK to record your national insurance contributions and is your personal account number.

If you do not have a NINO, it is not currently possible to apply for one due to COVID-19. However you may start work before you apply for a NINO but you will need to inform your employer that you do not have one so they can arrange for your NI contributions to go to a temporary number. When COVID restrictions are lifted you may need to apply for a permanent NINO and arrange for your NI contributions from your temporary number to be transferred to your permanent number. For more information please read UKCISA pages for latest guidelines.

If your internship is with an external organisation i.e. not at the University of Exeter:

You and your internship employer both have responsibilities in law for your health and safety at work, this includes when you are working remotely. Your internship employer may have their own paperwork and/or an alternative process to assess risk, but if not, you could use this General Risk Assessment template document and you can find additional information to help you consider consequence, likelihood and risk score on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Toolbox: How to control risks at work and HSE Toolbox: Protect home workers. Now we have COVID-19 there are additional risks to take into account as some people are more vulnerable to the infection than others, due to age, underlying health conditions, ethnicity, gender and body mass. You may wish to incorporate COVID-19 risks in your general risk assessment, or undertake a separate COVID-19 risk assessment. You can use the HSE’s what to include in your COVID-19 risk assessment to guide you. There is no need to share the risk assessment with University unless you would like to seek support for managing the risk or you need to report a COVID positive test.

If your internship is at the University of Exeter:

If you are planning on undertaking an internship on campus and restrictions allow, then you will need to complete and adhere to the Universities of Exeter’s returning to campus procedures including completing a COVID-19 Age Individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment, completing the Mandatory training and reading the ‘return to campus guide’. For further information please see ‘What you need to know and do before you come to campus (Staff)’.

Almost all workers are legally entitled to paid holiday however this is dependent on how many hours you have worked overall. For further details and to work out your entitlement please see gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights.

Please note, if you are working for the University (WP funding only) then you will not be entitled to take paid holiday as your hourly rate of pay includes holiday pay - £10.65 (£9.50 basic + £1.15 holiday pay).

If a bank holiday falls during your internship you can adhere to the organisations usual practice for bank holidays or you can take it as part of your entitled leave (please see above).

If you are undertaking an A2I internship with a SME, Charity or Statutory Organisation, then you will be paid via the organisations own payroll system. We ask employers to pay you the agreed wage, on an agreed regular payday i.e. monthly or weekly and once you have begun work.

If your internship is at the University of Exeter then you will need to submit your hours (claims) weekly, via the University's temporary payroll system eClaims, by the timesheet submission deadlines. The last date you can submit claims is Friday 1st July 2022, after this date funding will not be available due to the end of the University's financial year. If you are already employed by the Univeristy and paid through main payroll you cannot be paid through the eClaims system. Instead, you will need to complete a PD103 form which will need to be sent to payandbenefits@exeter.ac.uk, by your line manager.

If you have applied for the WP ‘Help Getting to Work’ bursary this will be paid directly to you via the University’s scholarship team just before your internship begins. You will need to ensure your bank details are correct on iExeter.

Yes, a funded internship can still go ahead providing social distancing measure are in place and/or if the work can be undertaken remotely i.e. from your home address.

We understand that there may be some students who are more vulnerable than others to the COVID-19 infection and its potential impact.  We also know due to age, underlying health conditions, ethnicity, gender and body mass, that some people are more vulnerable to the infection than others. We would therefore urge you to consider the precautions that can be taken on your internship to minimise the risk of COVID-19. This could be done for example, by incorporating COVID-19 risks into your general risk assessment or undertaking a separate COVID-19 risk assessment, with your internship employer before you begin. You can use the HSE’s what to include in your COVID-19 risk assessment to guide you.