Health and Safety Summer Intern Programme

The Health and Safety Summer Intern Programme aims to promote the sector to young graduates with an interest in health and safety.


During its initial work programme consultation process in 2017, the Government Health and Safety Lead (GHSL), in consultation with other agencies, identified the absence of a pipeline of qualified health and safety practitioners entering the sector.

The GHSL saw an immediate opportunity to provide value for the sector by trialling a Summer Health and Safety Intern Programme.

Although many public sector agencies operate general intern programmes, roles in health and safety are not typically included in these programmes. The sector did not have a workforce strategy for health and safety professionals and there was no deliberate attraction strategy to promote the sector to young graduates with an interest in health and safety.

The inaugural GHSL Summer Intern Programme ran in 2017/18 with nine interns across nine agencies. Due to the success of the trial and interest from agencies, the GHSL extended the programme to take place each year. In 2018/19 participation increased, with 22 interns across 21 agencies

The programme runs for approximately three months, from November to late February/early March.

Learning objectives

In addition to work experience and networking opportunities, the programme allows the interns to:

  • practically apply theoretical concepts within an operational health and safety context
  • enhance ‘work-ready’ skills
  • gain an understanding of how the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is applied within the public sector
  • learn how to adapt and communicate to meet the requirements of a public sector agency
  • develop an understanding of how agencies identify, manage and control health and safety risks
  • learn how to deliver effective health and safety advice.

Each agency sets their own programme of work for their interns for the duration of the internship, sitting within the overarching objectives agreed upon with the GHSL. The GHSL also facilitates several days where the interns come together and visit different sites/agencies, to expose them to the government’s diverse environments and broad range of health and safety risks public servants operate in. In the past these have included Rimutaka Prison, Wellington Fire Central Station, WorkSafe New Zealand, Haywards Substation and Ohakea Air Force Base.


If you are interested in finding out more about the programme contact

More Information:

To see our 2019/20 participating agencies and find out more, please read the intern guide. 


Applications for our 2019/2020 programme are now closed.

GHSL Interns - 2017/18 One Year On