A young person sits at a desk in an industrial-style office. They're typing and looking at a monitor. A laptop sits on a stand with headphones hanging off it.

Benefits of taking on a student or graduate

Wellington is full of smart and talented people, with the most highly educated workforce in New Zealand. Thousands of potential employees are graduating from tertiary institutes around the country each year. So there are plenty of opportunities for your business to find fresh talent.

Taking on a student or graduate can benefit your business in many ways, including:

  • building a reputation as a graduate-friendly employer that attracts talent
  • offering work experience when you can’t make a permanent hire
  • upskilling your current staff to mentor and train new people
  • gaining fresh perspectives, ideas and new academic theory
  • improving connections with tertiary organisations
  • investing in the next generation.
Five students are walking together on Victoria University campus in Kelburn, Wellington.

Internship programmes in Wellington

There are a number of programmes and tertiary connections available to help you create workforce pathways and talent pipelines for your company.

The Summer of Tech internship programme makes it easy for employers to access new talent for summer internships and other tech-related roles. It is employer-led, and the organisation is non-profit. This programme connects employers to top students and graduates from tertiary organisations across New Zealand.

Summer of Tech

2 Fraser Engineering workers checking over their work on large trucks.

Tertiary projects

Some tertiary students need to complete industry work or research as part of their course. It’s a good way for an employer to connect with a local tertiary organisation, meet students and complete a project or research.

Students may work individually or in groups, and the project time varies. Industry projects should not be mission-critical but rather ‘nice to have’. As the students are completing an academic requirement, payment is not usually expected.


Funding to take on students can be available if specific criteria are met.

Victoria University summer research scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available annually for students. Businesses may apply to Victoria University with a research-based project for a current student. The scholarships are jointly funded by the business and the university.

Victoria University of Wellington

Callaghan Innovation Research and Development internships

Callaghan grants support students and New Zealand businesses carrying out research and development.

Callaghan Innovation

Two people are using virtual reality equipment while another is seated at a desk using a laptop at a production space at Victoria University in Wellington.

How we can help

WellingtonNZ’s Workforce Development Specialist Cath Randall can help connect your business with talented students and graduates. Including by:

  • identifying areas and projects where students or graduates may be a great addition
  • connecting you to appropriate programmes
  • discussing how to get the best from your student or graduate experience
  • sharing opportunities to get help on your projects from students for their coursework.

Talk to us for advice on hiring a student or graduate

Cath Randall, our Workforce Development Specialist can give you more information on the programmes that are available, funding and work integrated learning opportunities.

Email Cath Randall