Birmingham gets ready for Pop Up Talent

pop-up-talentPop Up Talent is a brand new, exciting, youth-led concept, aimed at tackling the unacceptably high levels of youth unemployment in key areas across the country. We’re very pleased that Gateway will be working in partnership with the Foyer Federation to represent Birmingham.

Pop Up Talent begins with the Pop Up Talent Shop: using empty shops and spaces, in areas accessible for young people, to offer a range of taster sessions and to showcase opportunities from local businesses. Talent Shops are there to inspire, stimulate and engage young people in the world of work.

Young people then have the opportunity to learn new skills and develop existing skills on the Talent Generator. This involves a Social Action Project with a digital twist – an exciting platform of challenges and tasks to allow people to showcase their skills and earn badges building a personal profile.

The final stage is the Talent Pool that allows young people to access further opportunities, like the leadership residential, and connecting them with mentors or coaches.

Pop Up Talent is creating new ways of working between young people and employers. Earlier this month, more than a hundred young people visited the first Pop Up Talent shop, in Braintree, London – and 85 reported being inspired or engaged.

Last week, the road towards the first Pop Up Talent Shop in Birmingham began in earnest for Gateway, and our two Birmingham based Talent Agents, with a trip to Mitcham in South London to see a Pop Up Talent Shop in action (see picture, above). It was a great chance to see how the concept works ‘live’, and to talk to staff members in London about setting up the shop, engaging with employers and young people, and seeing what works and what can be tweaked going forward here in Birmingham.

We’re hoping to be able to launch the Birmingham Pop Up Talent Shop in early March.

It was a busy week, because the EAST department and the Talent Agents also visited the National Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham. The National Skills Show is now an annual event for young people, putting them in contact with a range of exciting careers, industries and employers, using creative and interactive sessions to inspire and fire the imagination.

Like the London shop visit, this was another great chance to see what makes young people tick and to talk to employers, encouraging them to come to one of our Pop Up Talent Shops. We came away with many exciting ideas to make the Birmingham Pop Up Talent Shops the best yet.

We’re really looking forward to working with a range of businesses and organisations in Birmingham – and this means we really need local employers to support Pop Up Talent. It’s a great opportunity for them to access the wealth of talented young people the city has to offer, so we hope you’re inspired by the idea and can share it with your employer. Together we have the opportunity to really make a change.

Watch Birmingham Talent Agent Keshia giving her thoughts on Pop Up Talent and the Skills Show: