To address its high unemployment rate and increasingly service-based economy, Ireland needs a job training program for the 21st century. This is why the Partnership funds programs such as Fast Track to Information Technology (FIT). FIT provides employment learning for unemployed people looking for work in the tech sector. Rather than training people only for the top level positions, FIT provides training for stable, middle level employment, giving companies people with the skills they need while employing thousands who would otherwise be out of work.
This February, FIT launched a new initiative, the Associate Professional Program. This program is targeted to young school-leavers seeking additional education and eventual employment in the IT industry. It is a two-year commitment broken down into three phases. The first phase is six months of classroom learning at college, the second is a year of three days working and two days in the classroom, and the third is six months of four days working and a day in the classroom. This gives students real world experience and allows them to earn an income while studying in their field. It is funded by private and public sponsorship, and has support from Microsoft, IBM, Accenture, and many other tech companies in Ireland.
The goal is to place 200 individuals in jobs after the two year pilot program. This type of innovative solution that puts disenfranchised youth in meaningful careers is a step forward in Irish economic recovery, and the Partnership is pleased to continue to support FIT’s cutting-edge work.
Employment Learning provides a suitable alternative to third level education for hundreds of Ireland's youth. A donation to the Partnership's employment learning program will not only teach a valuable skill to a disadvantaged individual; it will have economic ripple effects for generations to come.