Software production course completed in Portugal

Software production course completed in Portugal

Programa Escolhas, the FIT4Jobs project partner from Portugal, carried out the Fit4JOBS training-for-employment model in Portugal in partnership with a CINEL, a formal vocational training provider. The 275 hours of classroom training on the topic of Software Production has now come to an end. The next step will be an internship for the participants in the companies, which may result in concrete job placements. Diverse background of trainees The training’s target audience were young and unemployed people of different ages, most belonging to the 25-30 age range. The 30 trainees were selected from a total of 120 candidates who had taken the admission tests. All of them showed a high interest and motivation for the field of computing, information and communication technologies. The pool of candidates came from two sources: the Portuguese Employment and Vocational Training Institute (IEFP) and by the Programa Escolhas’ field projects. Trainees come from study areas as diverse as computer science, engineering, education, science, architecture, music and psychology. Many of them have a secondary level of education, while some have a university degree. As Paulo Vieira National Manager for Digital Inclusion of Programa Escolhas puts it: “Our students have very diverse backgrounds because we wanted to see what will happen when you offer advanced ICT training to a heterogeneous group of young people in search of employment.” José Santos, 32 years old, has worked as a computer consultant and has always been interested in this field. Currently unemployed, José hopes that with this training he’s able to re-entry the labour market. Madalena Ezra, 27 years has a degree in Management. She says “Everything I’m learning is new. The team...
CAN DIGITAL COMPETENCE SAVE YOUTH FROM UNEMPLOYMENT?

CAN DIGITAL COMPETENCE SAVE YOUTH FROM UNEMPLOYMENT?

(guest post by Ilona Griniute) The European economic crisis that started in late 2009 gave way to high rates of unemployment, especially among young people. Beginning this year, the European Commission estimated that over 5 million young people aged 15-24 were unemployed. Youth unemployment has been in the spotlight of European policy makers and governmental institutions trying to solve the enigma by proposing numerous actions to tackle unemployment that is part of European recession. Almost every second youth in Greece or Spain are unemployed. Similar numbers are exhibited in Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, and Portugal. Other European countries struggle with over 20% of unemployment while the EU average still stands at 20.7% as of June 2015. What makes it so difficult for young people to find jobs? Are there not enough jobs available? Are youth not competent for available vacancies in the labor market? COMPANIES GO ONLINE – JOBS GO DIGITAL A significant part of business has moved online and having e-commerce whenever possible is essential to many companies and organizations. In addition, a mobile presence is evolving as another main channel to attract customers, to get them to buy services or simply access information anywhere, anytime. An estimated 3 billion mobile users are counted today. This is almost half of the planet’s population. That being said, many changes have been brought into certain job functions, for instance, marketing and communications now requires an extensive digital skill set. Additionally, we have seen new job titles springing up like mushrooms after the rain: starting with community and social media managers moving to SEO consultants, web analytics developers, mobile marketers and growth hackers. These are...
What companies look for in young ICT specialists

What companies look for in young ICT specialists

At the Annual conference of Telecentre Europe, held in Belgrade on 24th September this year, we had the occasion to hear perspectives from the industry on what skills they expect young people interested in ICT careers to have. Elmars Gengers, the CEO of “TIETO” Ltd ( Latvia), the leading IT services company in the Baltics, told us about the IT service industry, how it is adapting to the consumers and what kind of skills they look for when hiring. He started his presentation by reminding the auidience that any breakthrough and advancement in IT industry happens because of innovation. Today the IT services industry is not so much about software but about reaching out to the customers and adapting to their needs. “People want three things from technology: that it can “do more with less”, that they can access everything quickly and on any device (especially the mobile phone) and that all services are 24/7.” This means that ICT practitioners need to be always thinking ahead. But more importantly they need to understand concrete business needs. For this they need to be creative and capable of working with people and teams across disciplines. For his company TIETO Latvia, the biggest challenge when it comes to hiring is that they cannot predict, even if a candidate comes with great talent and knowledge, how that candidate will solve concrete problems. What they look for is people who are brave enough to ask questions, have analytical thinking skills and who can thrive in a complex world where things should be made very simple and intuitive. For a full presentation please go to Telecentre...
“We don’t stop at the point when students are employable. We stop when they are employed.”

“We don’t stop at the point when students are employable. We stop when they are employed.”

Fit4Jobs Project Manager Manus Hanratty was invited by Telecentre Europe to their annual conference in Belgrade on 24th September, to speak on behalf of his organisation FIT Ltd and the Fit4Jobs project at the “Empowering youth for employability” session. Speaking on behalf of his own organisation but also the NGOs/non-profits currently leading the Fit4Jobs project pilots (in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Lithuania), M. Hanratty started by saying that employability is hard to define because it often depends on who is defining it. Many young people who are unemployed even see employability as “a wall that stands between them and a good job.” They picture it as an obstacle they need to climb over. But breaking it down, employability is about knowledge, and competition and skills- and all these can be learned. Learning about how to design a good CV is only one example of the concrete skills present on the employability wall (see image 1 above). Often young people are not aware of the importance of such skills and unwritten “norms” in the world of work. This is why Fit4Jobs is all about putting the soft skills at the same level as hard or technical skills. Most importantly, Fit4jobs provides a holistic approach: finding someone who is young and unemployed and then taking them or her through the journey until they actually have a job. As he clearly pointed out, when going on this journey with young people is its crucial not to stop at the point when students are considered employable but rather when they are employed. ‘Employer engagement’ is now a buzz word in the world...
Youth employability in the spotlight in Belgrade

Youth employability in the spotlight in Belgrade

Each year FIT4Jobs project partner, Telecentre Europe, in its annual conference features a panel discussion where representatives of various stakeholder groups (private sectors, education, academia, civil society, etc.) look at an issue from different angles. This year the main conference panel in Belgrade will focus on youth employability. This is also a relevant topic for the FIT4Jobs project and the conference will bring together all the project partners, apart from organisations active in digital inclusion, skills and employablity. I-LINC “Empowering youth for employability” The panel that will take place on 24th September (day 1) in the afternoon will also be the occasion to launch I-LINC, a new stakeholder platform on the topic of Youth employability, funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. The platform will be an online and offline (events) environment for networking, participation and earning that will aim at boosting the employability and entrepreneurship capacities of young people. The I-LINC project consortium is led by Telecentre Europe and consists of three other key partners: Telefonica, the Spanish telecommunication giant, European Schoolnet (EUN) representing the education sector and the Technical University of Dortmund (TUDO), that brings the research dimension to the platform. The I-LINC platform will be officially launched after the panel discussion by the Project Manager Laurentiu Bunescu. Organisations and individuals interested in discussing and solving problems linked to youth unemployment are invited to join the platform and to attend the live panel discussion. Confirmed speakers in the panel involve researcher Maria Garrido from the University of Washington’s TASCHA group. Manus Hanratty, FIT4Jobs Project Manager will represent his organisation, the well-known Irish non-profit FIT Ltd. that...
Programa Escolhas in Portugal: FIT4Jobs Partner profile

Programa Escolhas in Portugal: FIT4Jobs Partner profile

Programa Escolhas (the Choices Programme) is the Partner for FIT4JObs project in Portugal. It is the national programme of the Portuguese government for social inclusion under the Ministry of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, and is part of the High Commission for Migration. The Programme was created to promote the social inclusion of children and youths of the most vulnerable communities, particularly the descendants of immigrants and ethnic minorities. Since its beginning the Programme has become increasingly recognized for the contribution it makes to the social inclusion of young people, namely in the fight against early school leaving and youth delinquency. The Choices Programme was created in January 2001 and is currently in its 5th intervention 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.) and 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. Alongside the 110 projects, there is 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 young people living in the most vulnerable areas. The priority target population is particularly those with a higher incidence rate of exclusion, therefore the project should have a higher focus and a more regular monitoring process. Young people aged between 6 and 24...