Fit4Jobs: Building the skills employers need

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Employers often complain that people with the right skills are hard to find. On the other hand, thousands of people all over Europe are unemployed, desperate for an opportunity to work. Many of them have been left behind in the knowledge-based economy and are detached from a labour market whose requirements they do not understand. Without any skills training, information resources or networks their situation resembles a vicious circle out of which it is difficult to escape. It is well known that unemployment increases the likelihood of falling into poverty and social exclusion. On the other side, it is also clear that the absence of skilled and motivated people negatively affects companies and prevents them from growing.

What’s the plan?

We have all heard about the “need to invest in people”, and nowhere is this more evident that with young people (ages 18 to 30) who have been unemployed for a long period of time. Instead of seeing them as the problem we believe that people are the solution to the lack of growth and competitiveness. Our plan is therefore to find motivated candidates amongst the unemployed and train them in a range of ICT and soft skills for job openings in private companies.

A model that works

The idea to train job seekers with the skills in demand has already been successfully tested by Fast-track to IT (FIT Ltd), a nonprofit organisation established in 1999 in Ireland. FIT is essentially an industry-led initiative that works in close collaboration with government departments and national education and training agencies, local development organisations and a host of community based organisations. To date, over 16,500 job seekers have completed FIT skills development programmes and over 12,000 have gone on to find work. Recently the European Commission cited FIT as one of the most effective employability initiatives in Europe.

A timely project for Europe

FIT4Jobs is a European-funded piloting programme based on the successful FIT model of upskilling job seekers and connecting them to employers. The project has originated from an official pledge made by FIT to the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs. The objective of the project is to recreate the FIT model in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Lithuania, together with partner organisations from six EU countries. The long-term vision is that this model, if tested, could prove to be viable in participating countries achieving over 100,000 job placements per year in Europe.  

Would you like to know more? Please contact the Project Manager Mr. Manus Hanratty