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A2i Southwest Funded Internships

The Southwest Funded Internship Scheme supports local SME's and funds employment opportunties for Exeter students.  Through the scheme, employers in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset are supported to recruit a fully-funded intern to complete up to 80-140 hours of paid work.

Reruiting University of Exeter students can have a positive impact on your business:

  • Exeter students are enthusiastic to start their careers and make a difference in your business.
  • They are intelligent, quick to learn and able to work at pace.
  • Respectful and keen to learn from your experience. 
  • Students can bring a fresh perspective with new thoughts and ideas.
  • They will contribute using the most up to date learning of their subject.
  • Ambitious and want to build their experience to progress in their careers.

Interns can work in all areas of an organisation including administration, finance, marketing and communication, human resources, and customer service. Or in more specialist or technical areas, such as supporting leaders with strategy, product development, engineering, heritage projects, charity fundraising, software development, sustainability, data analysis, legal, languages, teaching and publishing. Interns have a huge amount of potential and will grow in confidence with your support and guidance.

To register your interest in the Southwest Funded Internship Scheme, you can email  The team can notify you when funding becomes available.

Alternatively, you can call 01392 722617.  Phone lines are monitored 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

To be eligible for this funding, we ask organisations to meet the following criteria:

  • Be one of the following types of organsations: UK Micro, SME, Not For Profit or registered Charity
  • Based in Devon, Cornwall or Somerset (within a 25 mile radius of Exeter).
  • An organisation of good reputation
  • A supportive employer
  • Pay the intern through your organisation's payroll system, treating interns as employees rather than self-employed. For further information please visit and
  • Have suitable liability insurance
  • Allow us to share details of your company, your selected intern and the internship with our funders.
  • Employers can receive a maximum of two employers subsidies per academic year, across all A2I funding sources available

Organisations will be scored and selected based on the:

  1. Quality of the role being offered;
  2. Sector (we are seeking a wide spread of sectors to meet our students' needs); and
  3. Training and support offered to undertake the role. 

The internship role must meet the following criteria:

  • Pay the intern at least £10.90 per hour
  • Be for a minimum of 80 hours 
  • Be undertake within the UK
  • Pay the agreed wage on a set monthly payday once the internship has commenced. The University payments terms are 30 days from receipt of invoice. Where the organisation has not invoiced for or received the agreed employer subsidy from the University, by the intern’s payday, the organisation will pay the intern’s salary.
  • Include tasks and responsibilities normally associated with an undergraduate level position, to aid the student's career development.
  • Interns can work in all areas of a business, including general business functions such as administration, finance, marketing and communication, human resources, and customer service. Or in more specialist or technical areas, such as supporting leaders with strategy, product development, engineering, software development, sustainability, data analysis, legal, languages, teaching and bioscience.

‌Your Intern will meet the followng criteria:  

Student status

  • To undertake an SCP internship, the applicant must be a current University of Exeter student for the full duration of the internship.
  • Undergraduate students can work up to 15 hours a week
  • Postgraduate students can work up to 6 hours a week.

Right to work


  • Applications will be made using the Internship Application Form and sent to
  • On average you can expect to receive 20+ good quality applications.
  • We check all applications meet the scheme eligibility criteria and highlight any issues i.e. disability; right to work; and restrictions on working hours.
  • We send all the applications by email to you the day after applications close


  • The employer shortlists the applications. You may wish to use our Shortlisting Scoring Grid.
  • As the University of Exeter is a 'Disability Confident' organisation we ask that you interview all applicants who have declared a disability and who meet the essential criteria for the role.

 Inviting to Interview

  • If you can, we suggest inviting 5-6 candidates to interview.
  • The employer invites the shortlisted candidates to interview as soon as possible. We tell students to expect to hear if they have been shortlisted 5 days before the scheduled interview date. We recommend you call candidates to book an interview time and date and follow this up with a confirmation email. You may wish to use this invitation to interview email.
  • When inviting your candidates to interview please ask them to share the Right to Work evidence with you, To read more about this please see the Guidance to Verify Right to Work (RTW) Evidence for UoE Interns
  • For the candidates you do not wish to call to interview we ask you let them know as soon as possible by email. You may wish to use this Not called to interview emaill‌. Alternatively the Internship Team can do this for you, if you send us the names of the rejected candidates.

Conducting the interview

  • You may wish to interview by video. Please see our Guidance for interviews via video call.
  • Assess each candidate against the selection criteria published in the Internship Vacancy Form. You may wish to use the Interview Scoring Grid for this purpose.
  • You may wish to use these Interview Questions or these Strengths based interview questions.
  • You may also wish to conduct a short test e.g. manipulating data in a spreadsheet or writing a short communication with a client.
  • We ask that you respond to candidates who have not been successful at interview and be willing to provide constructive feedback if requested by them. If this is not possible you may wish to use our standard email unsuccessful after interview.
  • Please check all interviewees' right to work (see below)

Right to work

Informing interviewees the outcome of their interview

  • At the end of the interview please let the interviewees know when you will be in touch to let them know the outcome of the interview. We require this to take place within 3 days of the interview and that you make all efforts to speak to the candidates.
  • When you contact the successful candidate to offer them the job, please ask them to confirm they would like to accept the job and agree a start date. 
  • For the unsuccessful candidate we ask that you offer feedback. Inexperienced students really benefit from learning what they did well on in interview and what and how they could improve. If you thought they were appointable (just not the top candidate), please let them know!
  • For further information please view our Guidance on Informing Candidates of Interview Outcome.


  • As the employer, it is at your discretion if you wish to take up references.  If you wish to do so, you may wish to use the ‌Reference Template.
  • Please ensure that any references not required after appointment, are destroyed or retained, as applicable, in accordance with GDPR

Retaining Interview Evidence

We recommend you retain evidence of scoring and selection for all the candidates you interview for 6 months, after which please destroy or delete. 

Appointing your Intern

Once your chosen candidate has been identified and has accepted the position, we will ask you to complete the SBP Appointment Form. You will issue the Contract of Employment. Please note: interns are required to be employed, not self employed. For more information, please go to the HMRC website.


We ask that you provide your Intern with; an induction when they begin, set clear objectives for the internship, and to review and evaluate the Intern's progress throughout. You are welcome to complete your own induction and performance indicators or you are welcome to use our paperwork:



We recommend that the Intern meets with their line manager regularly. Previous interns have suggested daily meetings in the first week, then once every 2 weeks after this.

Should you have any concerns regarding your Intern or their performance that you wish to discuss the Employment Schemes Manager and the Internships Team are available to offer information, advice and/or support to try to resolve the issue. You can contact the Internships Team by emailing or calling 01392 722617.

As a condition of receiving a subsidy both parties must complete an internship feedback form once the internship has ended. Please fill out an Employer Feedback form and encourage your intern to complete their Intern Feedback form.

If you would like to read feedback from previous employers, take a look at our case studies.

  • Employers must allow us to share details of the company, the selected intern and the internship with the funders, Employment Services.
  • All parties must agree to the A2I Terms and Conditions as outlined in the A2I Internship Agreement - External.
  • Employers can receive more than one subsidy, to a maximum of two subsidies per year across all/any A2I funding sources available.
  • Employers cannot combine or apply for more than one A2I subsidy; All Student, Santander or Widening Participation, for the same internship.
  • Employers are unable to apply for further funding to either extend an intern's contract or employ the same student or graduate once the internship has completed.
  • Employer subsidies will be paid upon the successful placement of an Exeter intern into the approved internship and once an A2I Internship Agreement has been signed and returned.

Any data provided to the University by any party will be processed in accordance with Student Employability and Academic Success (SEAS) Privacy Policy.