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.
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 young people living in the most vulnerable areas, mainly comprised of descendants of immigrants and ethnic minorities. The specific call for proposal for 15 annual projects on inclusive entrepreneurship resulted in 263 applications from all over the country, including the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira. Following the final pitch presentation the jury evaluated the projects and selected those for implementation.
Contact: Mr. Paulo Vieira (National Manager for Digital Inclusion)