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Press release

£2 million boost for student internships in third sector

Up to 300 students are set to benefit from a new £2 million internship scheme announced this week.  The Third Sector Internship Programme is part of a Scottish Funding Council initiative to support students to find paid work experience during their studies. 

The Third Sector Internship Programme is a national programme, open to students from all Scottish Higher Education Institutions and is being delivered by Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, The Open University in Scotland and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) – the national body representing charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

The Programme will build on successful pilot work undertaken last year in placing students in third sector organisations.  Students will be offered outstanding opportunities to develop their skills and experience whilst also having a positive impact on the vital work delivered by Scotland’s third sector.

Celia Carson, SCVO’s Policy Manager (Skills and Workforce) said: “SCVO’s role in supporting third sector organisations means we’re well placed to deliver this innovative and high quality programme to third sector organisations of all shapes and sizes across the country.

“The success of the pilot programme earlier this year shows that organisations and students alike will benefit from this unique opportunity.  We look forward to working with QMU and The Open University as well as third sector organisations and other Scottish universities to make it happen.”

Professor Alan Gilloran, Vice Principal (Academic) at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, said: “At this critical time in our country’s development this ground-breaking project offers a win win situation for the future of graduate employment and the sustainability of our third sector. Experience gained on live projects ensures that we are creating highly equipped graduates for the workforce and will encourage students to consider career opportunities within this increasingly important sector.”

He continued:  “This is an excellent example of partnership – allowing academic institutions to demonstrate the relevance and value of their work in fitting the current and future needs of society. Queen Margaret University is delighted to be involved in this innovative programme which fits with its philosophy of improving people’s quality of life.”

Dr James Miller, Director of The Open University in Scotland said: “We welcome this opportunity to work in partnership with SCVO and QMU on the Third Sector Internship Programme, which provides new opportunities to students across Scotland.

“Now more than ever, Scotland needs innovative ways to develop and utilise its higher level skills. The OU brings to this programme over 40 years’ experience of enabling people to study while they work whatever their age, circumstances or experience.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

    1. For more on Queen Margaret University please see www.qmu.ac.uk
    2. For more on The Open University in Scotland please see www.open.ac.uk/scotland
    3. For more in SCVO please see www.scvo.org.uk
    4. The Third Sector Internship Programme is part of a £5 million programme set up by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).  For more on the SFC’s other projects, please see the SFC press release or contact EHorsburgh@sfc.ac.uk .
    5. The Project Steering Group includes: The University of Aberdeen, The University of Dundee, Glasgow Caledonian University, The University of Stirling, University of the West of Scotland, Student Volunteering Scotland.

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