$60k allows internship programme to continue

The Dunedin Business Internship Programme will continue after councillors allocated $60,000 from the city's budget towards it.

Council economic development unit manager Peter Harris told councillors, who are working on setting city budgets for the next 10 years, the summer internship programme for final-year students, in which a financial contribution is made to each business taking an intern, had been running for three years and the $120,000 cost was usually paid by the Industry Project Fund.

However, that fund was targeted at new projects and not ongoing ones, and, as the fund was contestable, it was unlikely the programme would get funding again in the next financial year, he said.

To keep the programme alive, the number of interns next year had been cut back to 40, for which the council had been asked to make a $60,000 contribution.

The council had included the sum in its draft long-term plan, but staff noted there was no single appropriate budget from which to fully fund the $60,000.

Cr Chris Staynes said the programme was one of the most successful in Dunedin in terms of keeping graduates in the city.

On a motion moved by Cr Syd Brown, councillors resolved the $60,000 be allocated to the internship programme via a reallocation of $40,000 to the Industry Project Fund, with the remaining $20,000 to come from the economic development budget.


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