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Start Programme Successfully Links University Students with Spanish Businesses

The University and Enterprise Foundation (FUE), that manages the internship programmes in Spain, developed the Start Programme to provide enterprises and other organisations with a service of intermediation with universities. The primary focus in their activities is placed on arranging student internships in enterprises.

The Start Program participants get involved into a training project. A training itinerary is designed by a business tutor and validated by an academic tutor. It indicates the objectives to be accomplished and the activities to be performed during the internship, as well as general and specific competences that an intern is to acquire during his internship. The internship duration is specified in the curriculum. However, when the internships are of extracurricular nature, the they normally last around 12 months.

Training Design and Delivery

The goal of the Start program is for university students to apply and complement their knowledge, acquired during their studies, in business activities. Since companies notice the lack of crosscutting skills in students, the Start program fills the gap by incorporating training of these skills through workshops and coaching.

The duration of student internships, organized as part of the Start program, is determined by the university academic plan. In the case of extracurricular internships, the designated time usually revolves around 900 hours per academic year. This period can be extended by request from a hosting company and with prior authorization by a university. The HR department of a company is responsible for the internship management. On the university side, there is a department that manages and advises students in their search of internship hosts.

The FUE puts universities and companies in contact, that is to say, to sustain the demand and supply balance. In addition, it is responsible for the tasks like management, administrative processing, and internship monitoring. The FUE has signed agreements with more than 100 universities located throughout Spain, as well as the companies that would welcome interns on a regular basis.

Impact of the efforts

Since its launch, the Start programme team has managed internships for more than 19,700 students coming from more than 80 universities and centres affiliated nationally and internationally with more than 600 companies.

About the FUE

University and Enterprise Foundation was established in 1973, linked to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Madrid, the 17 universities with campus in Madrid and CEIM (Business Confederation of Madrid). The FUE is a private non-profit organization that designs and manages internship programs. It develops actions in the areas of professional initiation, employability, entrepreneurship, and innovation consultancy.

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