To solve the skills gap, involvement of employers is key

To solve the skills gap, involvement of employers is key

The unemployment rate may be high but, unsurprisingly, employment opportunities demanding IT skills abound. The mismatch between the skills on offer and those in demand, also referred to as the ‘ skills-gap’  was tackled by the European Commission in 2013 when it called for organisations such as private companies but also non-profits and even governments to submit their pledges to address the skills gap.  New piloting project        Fit4jobs project is a promising training-for-employment initiative centred on ICT skills. The project idea was started by Fast-track to IT (FIT Ltd), an Irish nonprofit organisation that has so far trained thousands of job seekers with IT skills demanded by employers locally. Due to their unique training model, a success rate of 75% (percentage of trainees that went on to find employment after completing the training) and the official recognition and funding they received from the European Commission, FIT Ltd strongly believes that their model is worth piloting in other EU countries. Six non-profit organisations and members of Telecentre Europe are currently implementing the ‘Fit4Jobs’ project in six EU countries affected by high unemployment, namely Greece, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania and Ireland.  Is it the candidates or the employers?       Although the usual conversation in the area of unemployment and education is centred around the (un)preparedness of the job candidates and the relevance of their education or training, the premise of the Fit4Jobs piloting programme is that employers are the key to resolving the skills gap in their countries or regions. Employers have timely information of what IT skills they need in a candidate and they are well suited to provide advice and mentoring on soft skills such as team work and communication. As Fit4Jobs Project Manager...