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Summer students

  • Argyll and Bute Council supports the employment of summer students. A summer student can be employed for a period of time over the summer to help with key projects or pieces of work.
  • This can provide the opportunity to help support teams to progress work, add to a potential pool of candidates for the future, promote the benefits of a career with the council and can also provide valuable learning experiences for both the student and the team.
  • The guidance below outlines the process which should be followed by services if they are interested in taking on a summer student.

Table of Contents

This document outlines the process for departments to recruit summer students in line with the council’s objectives under Growing Our Own.

Summer students have traditionally been used by departments in order to undertake additional pieces of work or to cover staff throughout the summer months.

As part of the wider Growing Our Own agenda, the council continues to have a range of tools available to managers which can benefit young people of Argyll and Bute. This includes; Modern Apprenticeships, Trainees, work experience with schools and summer students. Before deciding to recruit a summer student, please consider each of these options to ensure it offers the best opportunity for both us as an employer and the potential young person. 

Before you employ a summer student, you will need to consider our hybrid working environment. Points to consider include:

  • Where will your summer student be working from, office or home?
  • If your summer student will be based in the office, will you have other team members there to support?
  • Will your summer student be mentored remotely, and if so how will this be managed?

In order to get the most out of the summer student, it is important to ensure that you have sufficient work to fill the whole placement, if there is not, then consideration should be given to filling the placement using an alternative resource or offering a summer placement for a shorter period of time. When beginning the recruitment process it is important to highlight if there are any degrees which would be closely aligned with the service as placements have more value when they are linked to the area of study of the student. Following that anyone with an interest in working within the public sector and has a more generic degree such as Business should be given consideration as these skills could be utilised within the organisation and it would give them a good experience working within the public sector if that was an area in which they were looking to pursue a career within this sector. 

Summer students are placed on a SLGE 3, therefore the current hourly rate for a summer student is £10.34. You will also need to consider the on costs which you will be required to pay on top of that to get the true picture of what budget is required to employ a summer student.

Services are responsible for providing IT equipment for summer students. If you do not have spare equipment, you will need to factor in the cost of a laptop and relevant licenses. You should contact IT as early as possible to determine the timescales required to put this in place.

Advantages of employing a summer student

  • Provides the student with exposure to the council as a workplace and highlights all of the advantages of working within the council. This is likely to increase the chance of them considering Argyll and Bute Council as an employer in the future.
  • Provides local students a chance to enhance their CV and gain work experience, knowledge and skills
  • Allows an additional resource to services to undertake project work or provide cover over a busy period.

Disadvantages of employing a summer student

  • There is a reputational risk for the council if the student is not utilised properly and does not gain a good experience of the council as an employer. Not only will we have lost them as a potential employee but they will also tell family/friends.
  • We have a range of tools available which support Growing Our Own, consideration needs to be given to ensure the best method is selected.

Procedure

  1. As noted in the guidance above, decide if a summer student best meets the needs of your service.
  2. Complete the generic summer student’s job description which is attached as an appendix to this guidance and populate with service specific tasks, detailing the tasks in which the summer student will undertake.
  3. The normal recruitment process should now apply. Talentlink, our online vacancy management system will be used to create, upload and authorise the vacancy.
  4. Guidance on how to use Talentlink can be found here.
  5. Once the vacancy is live, you should notify growingourown@argyll-bute.gov.uk, so that additional marketing of the vacancy can be undertaken.
  6. Once the closing date has past, a short leeting process will be required following the usual process on Talentlink. Again guidance can be found here. Consideration should be given as to if the area of study of the student and the service can be matched up as we know that these placements are more valuable. Consideration should also be given to those with more generic degrees, for example business, which could be utilised within the organisation if there is an interest to work within the public sector.
  7. When undertaking the short leeting process, managers should try and offer interviews to as many people as possible to provide them with an opportunity to experience a competitive interview process.
  8. It is important that the interviews are undertaken by a neutral manager who can ensure the process is fair and transparent.
  9. Interviews should be conducted in a formal manner, similarly as you would for any post. This will provide the students with experience of undertaking a formal interview and provide them with an opportunity to develop and review their skills ahead of them joining the world of work once they have completed their studies. In line with this, it is essential that managers provide feedback to all candidates on their interview to ensure that they can benefit and develop from this experience.

On Commencement of Post

Consideration should be given to the induction that you will provide the student. You should use the corporate induction template and adjust it accordingly taking into consideration the following points:

  • As they are only temporary, some timescales may need adjusted and not all information will be relevant.
  • This potentially may be their first experience of the work place and therefore you may need to provide additional support.

You will require to develop an approach to supporting and inducting the student remotely if not all of your team are working within an office environment.

Throughout the employment of the summer student, it is important to ensure that you have adequate work to keep them busy. When allocating tasks, it’s important that you explain the task to the summer student within the wider concept so they are aware as to why they are undertaking the task and how it fits in with the wider picture. Regular communication is essential when supporting the student remotely.

Towards the end of their contract, it is important that we capture feedback and testimonials which can be used to improve our offering in the future and to highlight the opportunities that we are providing to local students opportunities to gain experience and knowledge through a summer placement. It would be beneficial if they could provide a testimonial about what they have learnt during their time but also their view of the council having spent time working with us. This should be sent to growingourown@argyll-bute.gov.uk. This information will help us to ensure that the council is an attractive employer to young people. 

General Points to Note

  • Dependent on when you want the summer students to start, you might want to consider when you issue the advert to ensure it does not conflict with students exams.
  • Time will need to be factored in to undertake the recruitment process and provide notification to successful student.
  • Summer students are provided with exposure to the council as an employer, we need to ensure this is a positive experience to ensure they consider the council as an employer in the future.
  • Summer students are placed at SLGE 3.
  • There is no central funding available to support summer students.

Job Description Person Specification (JDPS)

The JDPS for summer students can be found here. Please populate it with relevant service specific tasks. You should also give consideration to the degree areas which you might be looking for students to be working towards.