From education to employment

Global Internship Program for Unemployed Youth Helps Place Birmingham Youth into Manufacturing Jobs

It’s a narrative playing out around the world. Manufacturers have positions to fill yet young adults eager to work and build a career are struggling to find jobs. The Pump in the Shard End area of Birmingham has been successfully bridging the gap thanks to the Global Internship Program for Unemployed Youth.

The program was developed in partnership with Arconic Foundation and the Institute of International Education. Since the program’s inception four years ago, more than 700 unemployed youth (ages 18 to 24) in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States received workforce readiness training and paid internships with local manufacturers.

“Unemployed youth are critical to the future success of our local manufacturing industry but are often overlooked. At The Pump, with the support of the Arconic Foundation, we have been able to build young people’s skills and confidence to bridge the skills gap, which has been essential in achieving sustainable employment”, says Bryan Foster, Project Manager at The Pump.

The program is not only working, it’s thriving. Since 2013, 88 interns have entered the training program through The Pump. A mid-program evaluation of internship participants, program managers and manufacturers shows 74% of the interns who completed the program have found employment or entered a training program as result.

While numbers matter, it’s not just about the employment figures. Interns are learning skills on the job that will serve them for decades to come. Almost 50% of the young people residing in Shard End are unemployed, out-of-school, and face barriers to finding employment due to intergenerational poverty and joblessness. The Pump provides holistic and integrated services to disadvantaged young people in order to inspire and motivate them to be the best they can be.

Learning these valuable soft skills that employers commonly look for in candidates can help set one person apart from the others.

This program has benefited manufacturers as well since they gain motivated interns who were eager to learn and showed their worth, while they increased their outputs and bottom line.

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