The VET (Vocational Education & Training) programs led by Telecentre-Europe’s members Fast Track to IT (FIT, Ireland) and Interface3 (Belgium) are good examples that show how many long-term unemployed people can succeed in high skills training programmes and find a quality job related to technology.
In Ireland and since 1999, over 11.000 unemployed people have completed an FIT ICT training and 8.500 (77%) got jobs. A quarter of FIT participants in Ireland are aged 25 or under.
In Belgium and since 1988, 5.000 women have received IT training at Interface3 and 70% of them found quality jobs in the IT field or in other professional fields very much affected by IT.
Both organizations closely engage the industry and work at the interface between skills demand from employers and public training provision. This “skills ecosystem analysis” (OECD 2008) aspect is more important than ever, with ICT now effectively a global marketplace and ICT skills shortages growing in most countries.
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FIT is an industry-led initiative which works in close collaboration with 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 long term unemployment. It is the primary industry skills development initiative enabling greater access to employment for marginalised job seekers.
FIT is a registered charity and not for profit organisation. It develops and promotes technology-based programmes and career development opportunities for marginalised job seekers in an increasingly knowledge-based economy.
The common theme of FIT’s activity is the innovative use of ICT to combat disadvantage. FIT has delivered a number of national projects that address the Digital Divide among disadvantaged groups and areas and is the largest provider of such programmes in collaboration with government.
The network operates through participation in the national digital inclusion projets co-ordinated by FIT and varies in number depending on the programme. In 2012 approximately 100 centres are actively collaborating with FIT in the delivery of eInclusion programmes.