Improving High School Internship: the Case of Mentor’s Competences Development in Lithuania Retail Sector

Žilvinas Židonis, Rolandas Strazdas, Deividas Vijeikis

Abstract


According to Bologna process, higher education plays the key role in providing the supply of qualified human resources for European labour market. Within the Bologna counties there is an increasing tendency to focus on the quality of student internship by fostering the collaboration between higher education and business sectors. However, the internships in Lithuania business companies do not contribute to human resource development and lack of integration into high school education processes. This situation could be described as a “formal model of internship” with no value for business companies as well as higher education institutions.
This paper aims to explain why student internship in Lithuania is ineffective, and why partners, high education institutions and retail companies, have no motivation to change the existing situation. First, by applying stakeholders approach to internship process, main groups and interests identified and interests explained. It is argued that main stakeholders do not identify the internship as an integral part of value creation process. Second, new “Bottom-up” model is introduced. The model aims to integrate high school student internship into retail company human resource management process. According to the model, the mentor is a key person in the company responsible for the efficient internship process. The paper argues that internship mentoring demands to develop the particular framework of competences, such as personal, social, communication, and professional. Finally, by applying labour supply-demand model main trends in internship system development are defined and explained. It is argued that Lithuanian retail sector belongs to low value added industries and there is no substantial demand increase in higher education graduates. On the other hand, the increase of student enrolment during the period of 2000–2009 contributes to internship supply boost. It is suggested that retail companies, under the circumstances of high supply, should switch from “mass” internship practices to tailor-made internship projects and focus on mentor’s competences development.

Keywords


high education and business sectors partnership; internship; mentoring

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603