Global Training internships: “it has been the experience of my life”

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Core ERNACT members from Fomento San Sebastian train young unemployed people through working experiences abroad.
14 September 2023 - ERNACT  project
Since 2012, the ERNACT network has welcomed interns from the Basque region to our headquarters in Letterkenny thanks to one of our core members' international mobility programmes: Global Training. Today, we speak with our International Management Committee (IMC) member Gorka Díez, Project Coordinator at Fomento San Sebastián (FSS), about the impact of this programme. 

When did Fomento San Sebastián start offering Global Training internships? 
We began in 2011 through the 'Leonardo Programme', and continued with the Global Training programme from 2012 to the present. During the financial crisis, that affected the city around 2010, we saw the need of offering tools to young people from San Sebastian to experience an international professional experience and thus, be able to get more employability opportunities upon their return, connecting them with the local innovation ecosystem. During these 12 years, more than 600 people have benefited from these internships.

How did the cooperation with ERNACT as a host company in Ireland come about?
As core ERNACT members and within the framework of the different collaborative activities that take place within the network, the opportunity arose for all members.

What objective does Fomento San Sebastián seek through the Global Training programme?
The objective is to train young unemployed people through internships in entities abroad in order to facilitate their incorporation into the labor market and improve their professional competitiveness. It also has the objective of establishing connections with other ecosystems at an international level and generating different opportunities for innovation in our city.

How do you value this collaboration with ERNACT that has lasted more than a decade?
The experience has been positive for both parties. Above all, it is worth highlighting the young participants who have valued the welcome of the organisation and its environment. It should be noted that several of the interns who accessed the programme got a job contract in ERNACT after completing their internships.

After the six-months internship, FSS asks for a report in which interns explain what skills they have improved during their stay abroad. What message(s) would you highlight?
In addition to professional growth, always stands out the personal growth. Above all, interns value their ability to adapt to new challenges and they feel proud of themselves when referring to the maturity they acquire both personally and professionally. They also highlight the improvement of the language skills.

What would you say to the young people who have doubts about requesting an internship abroad?
According to many interns that have completed the internship, in terms of personal growth, six months of training abroad are equivalent to four years in your local environment. Although work experience is sometimes a challenge for them, they rate personal experience with a 10 out of 10.

Would you like to add anything else?
Yes, it would be worth mentioning a phrase often repeated by people who have participated with Fomento de San Sebastián in these international mobility programmes: “thank you because you have changed my life” or “it has been the experience of my life.”

From left to right: Iñigo Zubicaray and Maixa Zabaleta (awarded a Global Training internship to work at ERNACT headquarters), Gorka Díez from Fomento San Sebastian, Colm Mc Colgan outgoing ERNACT General Manager and Aritz Torres, also from FSS.

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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