The Pump has recently completed the 2nd cohort of its Paid internship scheme that aims to equip young people with the skills, confidence and experience to succeed in employment.

During the program, candidates aged between 18-25 learn what skills employers are looking for and how their individual experiences and achievements can be used to sell their own personal “brand”.

They learn techniques to succeed at the application stage of finding employment and how to make agencies and job sites work most effectively on their behalf. Cover letters, personal statements and CVs are finely tuned over the period of the course to maximise chances of securing an interview. We also work on interview technique, how to fill responses with detail and how to structure answers effectively, hopefully to go some way in combating the inevitable nerves! The rest of the course material covers some in-work qualifications that may come in handy like manual handling and first aid and also covers topics like how to get paid at work and understanding your payslip.

The course then switches to the Pump’s very own “Makerspace”, a state of the art facility that allows the candidates to explore a number of hi-tech manufacturing and fabrication techniques.

We work towards an OCN level 1 qualification in digital fabrication that incorporates an introduction to 2d and 3d design principles and how to produce these physically with 3D printers and laser engraving.

The candidates learn how to safely set up and operate the machines and begin to understand the capabilities and the huge range of products and effects they can produce. This is very much a hands on part of the course and whilst being great fun, allows the candidates to explore the basics of techniques used in many professional manufacturing processes.

The final section of the course places each candidate with a local manufacturing employer for a 100 hour  paid work experience placement.

We have forged great links with a number of firms who have graciously agreed to provide these, they see the value in helping young people gain experience and have donated their time and expertise to help the community. Each candidate is matched with an employer depending on their interests and is shown a range of departments and processes and is crucially put to work to learn the realities of working in a modern manufacturing plant. If a good relationship is built then full-time job offers may be offered or at the very least will provide invaluable material for the CV.

We have secured full time offers for 60% of candidates so far, a great achievement for these individuals who have struggled to find work previously and have been desperate to start their careers.