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...
Programa Escolhas in Portugal

Programa Escolhas in Portugal

Photo credit: coolabora.pt Programa Escolhas (Choices Programme) is a Portuguese Governmental social and digital inclusion funding structure, which was created in 2001. The Programme was created to promote the social inclusion of children and youths of the most vulnerable communities, particularly the descendants of immigrants and other ethnic minorities. For the purpose of Fit4Jobs Project, Programa Escolhas will involve its network of local Digital Inclusion Centres implemented in low socioeconomic areas, as well as other key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, especially companies from the ICT sector. Furthermore Escolhas intends to benefit from the collaboration of the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training and the active engagement of the Foundation for Science and Technology. Background The Choices Programme was created in January 2001 and is currently in its 5th iterative phase, which will run until December 31, 2015. The programme is currently financing 110 social inclusion projects in vulnerable communities throughout the country. The projects are defined by local consortia of partners (schools, NGOs, municipalities, etc.) that comply with a set of rules set out in Portuguese law (Normative Dispatch n. 27/2009). The projects are designed in five main categories: 1) School inclusion and non-formal education; 2) Vocational training and employability; 3) Community and civic participation; 4) Digital inclusion; and 5) Entrepreneurship and empowerment. Therefore, alongside the 110 projects, the Cabinet Resolution that defined the 5th generation, established the opportunity to fund a further 30 projects (15 in 2014 and 15 in 2015). These are annual experimental projects based on creative and sustainable responses, with a clear focus on employability, job placement and business development. They are particularly designed for...
Fit Ltd. in Ireland

Fit Ltd. in Ireland

Photo credit: Smartfutures.ie FIT Ltd.  plans to organise in Ireland three training  courses with 20 participants each. The courses reflect some of the biggest skills shortages in Ireland: Web development, Social Media for Business and Systems & Networks. The courses will start in March and run for 3 months. The target audience for these courses are job seekers wishing to improve their ICT skills and find work in a role related to their skills. FIT is an industry-led initiative which works in close collaboration with the Irish government departments and national education and training agencies, local development organisations and a host of community based organisations. FIT’s mission is to promote an inclusive Smart Economy by creating a fast track to marketable technical skills for those at risk of unemployment long term. It is the primary industry skills development initiative facilitating collaboration with government, education & training providers and disadvantaged communities to enable greater access to employment for marginalised job seekers. FIT Ltd, a registered charity and not for profit organisation, was established in 1999. The Initiative develops and promotes technology-based programmes and career development opportunities for job seekers who have become detached from the labour market in an increasingly knowledge-based economy.Since it started in Dublin in 1999, FIT has expanded substantially and now operates across the Republic of Ireland. More recently FIT has commenced programmes in Northern Ireland under the banner FIT-NI. To date, over 16,000 job seekers have completed FIT skills development programmes of which over 12,000 progressed into employment. 3,000 job seekers are currently participating in FIT programmes. Recently the European Commission cited FIT as one of the...