It is a widely-known (and unfortunate) fact that the unemployment rate in Greece is strikingly high, reaching 50% in some areas and hitting hard a whole new generation of educated graduates. Although many young people have deliberately chosen careers that are in high demand in today’s digital economy, a high number still remain jobless. The Fit4Jobs project comes to the rescue in Greece with its unique training model and a motivated Partner that has expertise and the knowledge: Hellenic Professionals Informatics Society (HePIS).
After having announced the Fit4Jobs project and its rationale, together with a targeted promotional Campaigns on social media, HePIS and its Project Manager Manolis Labovas were pleasantly surprised to see an enormous buzz created by the new up-skilling initiative Fit4Jobs in Greece in national media and online blogs/sites. The response of candidates interested in following the free ICT skills training was truly overwhelming, with 357 applications arriving in a short time span.
The long selection process that ensued was proper of a large recruitment processes in big companies. The difference being that HePIS was not looking for ready-to-employ candidates but rather to train graduates who have the potential but lack the skills for the existing and future ICT vacancies in a number of Greek companies.
HePIS believes that it is indeed uniquely positioned to fight unemployment in Greece as it operates in one of the highest growing job sector (ICT industry) which makes it possible to define the exact needs of the ever-changing market and assure the relevance of the training course curricula. According to the Empirica report commissioned by the European Commission, almost 1.200 positions in ICT sectors remain unfulfilled in Greece in 2015 due to the lack of skilled candidates. The Fit4Jobs project, although small in scope, has the potential to mitigate the current gap in Greece by 3.3% (providing 40 posts may be filled at the end of the process).
The candidates for the free courses were all university graduates with ICT and STEM graduates leading in numbers and unemployed for a short or long period of time After a thorough selection process including personal interviews and in-situ tests in basic coding and programming skills, 46 candidates were chosen to undergo a three-month ( 180 hours) training that will start today.
Moreover, HePIS used the CEPIS E-Competence Benchmark as a tool for identifying the skills of the candidates and then to proceed with the respective selection.
The CEPIS e-Competence Benchmark is a free, online interactive tool that enables current and future ICT professionals to identify the competences they need for various ICT roles and career paths. It helps individuals plan their career development and make informed decision about further education
The classes are divided into two strands, with one focusing on Java programming and the other on PHP.More information about the courses content can be found here (in Greek).
The training will not be done in isolation form the needs of the market. Even before recruiting the course participants, HePIS had made contacts with as many as ten private companies interested in contributing to the project. Some companies helped during the interview stage, others contributed to the training model by defining the training curricula and most will be involved throughout the training through soft skills mentoring, advice to candidates and posterior job placements.
Fit4Jobs is a project financed by European Commission’s Progress Programe and is currently piloted in six EU countries. To learn more about Fit and to pilot the programme in your country, please contact Mr. Manus Hanratty, Fit4Jobs Project Manager.
By Masha Tarle