By Debbie Merrigan (FIT)

Pathways4employ is lucky to be comprised of organizations who have a passion to actively promote IT, Entrepreneurship and Virtual Worker practices in a positive and engaging manner. Coming to this project at a later stage than our partners, has had its’ challenges and also it’s’ rewards! FIT (Fast track into IT), were honoured to host our partner meeting in Dublin this October!

Christmas

FIT is an Irish Charitable organisation, that educates people at high risk of unemployment and upskills them with IT skills for the current marketplace in Ireland. FIT upskill and reskill people for the current, ever evolving IT marketplace in Ireland. Due to FIT’s innovative and practical courses, such as; ICTAP (ICT Associate Professional), a practical ICT apprenticeship, where students are placed in a sponsor company for two years while also completing accredited courses with FIT. This programme along with our other IT programme’s have prepared many of our students to become successful virtual workers, while some have progressed to starting their own businesses!

At FIT, we are grateful to have the support of our European partners and to have Tecnalia as our lead partner! Since joining this exciting project, we have learned a lot about our partner’s extensive experience, talent and skills.

A little of what I have learned about our Partners!

Tecnalia have a passion to develop and inspire. They are the essential bridge between R&D&I and competitive business. They develop technological assets for business generation in the form of industrial property, know-how and investment in technology-based companies. One of their many projects is: MOVEUS – An ICT cloud based platform and cooperative services for personal Mobility; Available; Universal and Safe for all Users in Smart Cities. MOVEUS main aim is to change European users’ mobility habits by offering useful and personalized travel information services and providing meaningful feedback on the energy efficiency savings obtained as a result, i.e. on the real cost of mobility. This is a hugely beneficial project to Entrepreneurs. It offers time efficiency and the flexibility that mobility brings, whilst allowing more productive outcomes.

Our Greek partners from the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (iED), have vast experience in projects over the years. One of their many exciting projects (19 in all!) is; encouraging social entrepreneurship amongst youth. The goal of the project is to develop strategic tools and motivate youth organizations to provide youth entrepreneurship support and further expand on this topic.

And last but not least! Our Latvian partners from Data Media Group (DMG), Latvia. Our partner Mara set-up the organization with her partners and is a board member. Mara has over 20 years’ experience working and managing IT projects in the EU.  We have a lot to learn from our very experienced partners and are grateful for the opportunity!

Our project seeks to address our countries needs by creating innovative ways to enhance our Citizens digital competences. Thus’ paving the way for greater mobility of our virtual office workers, and providing our Entrepreneurs with tools essential for running a business in today’s ever evolving and competitive market. Each organisation certainly brings copious amounts of talent and experience to this project.

Why Ireland needs this project

Recently the Irish Computer Society (ICS), published an article (https://www.ics.ie/news/ireland-in-top-10-countries-with-lowest-digital-skills), titled: “Ireland in Top 10 Countries with Lowest Digital Skills”. This article was a surprise to many. As Ireland has long been known as the Tech. Hub of Europe, and continues to grow at a fast rate in this area. However, the article mentions that almost 50% of the Irish workforce, including Millennials (individuals born between: 1983 – 2000) have “low or no digital skills”. “Mary Cleary, Deputy CEO, of the ICS has pointed out, productive use of ICT has to be taught – we don’t pick it up from Snapchat and Facebook”.

What we intend to do!

Our Pathways4employ project aims at addressing such issues by guiding Entrepreneurs and Virtual office workers by digitally upskilling them. At FIT, we also aim to address this critical issue by creating ICT courses that are free to our citizens and promoting the importance of ICT literacy for all, our youth and senior citizens. On November 27th, FIT held a Multiplier event for another project. We had an inspirational guest speaker; Entrepreneur Anthony Costigan, CEO of Apton (Recruitment Agency), who spoke about the importance of upskilling and reskilling our citizens in IT, especially preparing them to be ‘mobile’ or virtual workers. Anthony also spoke about how vital IT skills have been to him in setting up his company.

Merry Christmas to all of our Partners. We are looking forward to working with you all in 2018!

Merry Christmas!

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