Bridge to Employment
Bridge to Employment has helped 4 500 young people worldwide to build a bright future. Over a three-year period, upper secondary school students acquaint themselves with studies at university level and opportunities for jobs in areas such as health, science, engineering, production and design. In 2019, Bridge to Employment will be launched in Scandinavia through a collaboration between Johnson & Johnson, Lund University and the Olympia School.
The health and pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson started Bridge to Employment in the USA almost 25 years ago to strengthen the connection between the classroom and the world outside. Pupils at upper secondary schools are to be inspired to go on to higher education and prepare for their future working life.
Bridge to Employment has expanded to many parts of the world and there are currently 17 active projects. In addition to Helsingborg, two other new projects will start in 2019 – in Limerick, Ireland, and Athens, USA.
Many of Johnson & Johnson’s 650 staff members in the city will work as volunteers to give the pupils at the Olympia School the opportunity to acquaint themselves with different future jobs. At the same time, the staff members get the chance to find out about the upper secondary school pupils’ everyday life and dreams for the future.
“For us at Johnson & Johnson, it is a valuable opportunity to contribute to Helsingborg and the city’s future development. We want the pupils to discover a future for themselves, but also form a picture of the great job and career opportunities that exist locally. Not least, we want to inspire them to go one step further so that they achieve their goals."
Jody Lodge, CEO of Johnson & Johnson in Helsingborg
About 40 upper secondary school pupils in the Science stream at the Olympia School will be recruited to Bridge to Employment at the start of the 2019 autumn semester. Participation in the project is voluntary and the activities will be held both within and outside the school timetable.
Anders Nilsson, principal of the Olympia School, thinks there will be considerable interest in taking part in Bridge to Employment:
“It will mean tremendous opportunities to gain an insight into the world that opens up after upper secondary school in terms of studies and working life. Our pupils will also be able to gain deeper knowledge in the science subjects and continue to build on their existing knowledge."
For students at Lund University, Bridge to Employment means they will have the opportunity to inspire pupils at the Olympia School to continue on into higher education. The international statistics for 2017 show that 90 per cent of the pupils who took part in Bridge to Employment planned to start higher education studies, compared with 75 per cent of pupils in an equivalent group who did not participate.
In the longer term, Bridge to Employment could help to raise the level of education in the region.