Dunedin’s “Sexy Summer Jobs” internship programme has gained international recognition, with the International Economic Development Council giving the scheme an honorary award.
A media release from the IECD reads: “The Dunedin City Council Economic Development Unit received an Honorable Mention for Excellence in Economic Development for their Dunedin ICT Internship Programme in the category of Technology-Based ED for communities with populations of 25,000 – 200,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
The honour was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, September 20 during the IEDC Annual Conference, September 18-21 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"We recognise the Dunedin City Council Economic Development Unit for providing successful strategies to promote new standards in economic development in this period of global recovery,” said Dennis Coleman, IEDC chair. “Our awards honour organisations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. They demonstrate that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using innovative and effective practices that can be replicated in other communities."
Dunedin City Council economic development unit bio-resources advisor Graham Strong, who has been involved with the scheme since its early days, says the Award is a tribute to the Dunedin businesses and tertiary institutes that have participated in the scheme.
The intern programme, which was started by the Dunedin ICT Cluster, was initially for ICT students, but has since been expanded to include other industry sectors. The Dunedin City Council and local tertiary institutes are now also involved.
“We have 50 companies seeking 100 interns across 10 different sectors,” Strong says.
Interns are recruited through several channels, including a “speed dating”-style event that was held this week, in which students and companies are matched for brief interviews. Interns are also recruited via the Sexy Summer Jobs website.
More than 100 students attended the “speed dating” event and close to 200 have signed up on the website, says Strong.