How to structure the position

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There are different ways to structure a position. Choose how you engage your student on the basis of what you want to achieve. Each organisation will have different requirements:

  • You may only require help for a specific project
  • You may require a student on a full-time basis
  • You may require a casual vacancy to be filled
  • You may be in the position to offer the student permanent work after they graduate
  • You may be able to offer a work integrated learning (WIL) internship project first and then offer some paid work

Keep in mind that 10-15 hours a week is manageable for a full-time student during term time. They may decide to take on more hours over holiday periods.

Paid part-time employment is a good option for engaging a student while they complete their degree, especially if there is the possibility of full-time permanent work after they graduate.

Graduate positions are permanent full-time positions that are offered to students who are about to finish or have just finished a university degree.

  • The roles are usually entry level positions in a professional field such as engineering, accounting, information technology, science or business. Organisations are expected to provide induction and supervision, and the graduate becomes a full member of staff from the first day of employment.
  • If you are interested in developing a graduate recruitment programme within your organisation, contact NZUniCareerHub.

Casual employment is an excellent option for work that is available at irregular times or durations, or for work that isn't permanent. If a job needs to be done at short notice, a casual employee provides a flexible option for many employers.

  • Casual employees are often contacted regularly by their employers to arrange working times from week to week. As there is no expectation in a casual work contract between employee and employer of ongoing work, employees can legally refuse a specific work opportunity at any time.

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Volunteers provide an organisation with time and skills without getting paid; therefore no employment relationship is entered into.

  • Sometimes the organisation is a not-for-profit, other times the organisation can be a commercial entity with the work offered providing a substantial learning experience for the student. The student should not displace regular employees, and works under the close supervision of existing staff.
  • Volunteering offers students a great opportunity to develop their skills.

Regardless of the how you choose to engage with a student, you must be aware of the legal requirements and obligations which may be involved.

UC partners with companies, organisations and professionals to engage a student for a work placement, professional experience or industry project.

The university assesses the students in the workplace as part of their formal study along with the workplace supervisor.

WIL occurs where students learn both formally and through practical experience in industry. The workplace or practical experience takes a variety of forms, but is often a placement in industry, community, government or a professional practice.

Key considerations for this type of placement are:

  • The student does not get paid.
  • The project/job has to fit within the requirements of the course the student is studying.
  • The placement has a set timeframe of when the work starts and finishes (often during a semester).
  • The work is assessed by an academic supervisor and the student receives a grade for it.

Legal requirements 

There are legal requirements that need to be considered and adhered to whenever a new employee is engaged.

See the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website for information about health and safety, employment relations, immigration and the labour market.

Careers consultants can offer further

advice and information