Creating Novel and Innovative Employment Opportunities for Austrian Unemployed through Coding Training
The Interreg SIV project, being implemented transnationally in eight central European countries, serves as an innovative approach to contribute to the improvement of the labour market situation of unemployed as well as underprivileged groups.
The Austrian implementation of this project is being carried out by a partnership of three organizations: The local social business everyone codes as the main operational partner being in charge of the professional training, with support from Caritas Vienna for community-building aspects and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) for evaluation and strategic support.
The Interreg SIV Implementation in AustriaEveryone codes started the class of 2020 in November. Their full time program aims to train in programming 23 participants with an unemployment background and subsequently to secure a job placement for the graduates by the end of the program. Starting with 2020, everyone codes has the help of Caritas Vienna in their social coaching and support, as well as that of WU for the impact evaluation as part of the SIV project. Within five intensive months, the training program focuses on conveying the participants the necessary coding skills for landing an entry-level programming job. At the same time, the program also fosters the development of a sense of community among participants by means of various extracurricular activities. The everyone codes alumni network is proof for the sustainability of this community. Thus, the program does not focus on the development of coding skills alone, but offers a complete package consisting of intensive support for overcoming daily challenges at the workplace as well as for gaining all relevant soft skills.
Upon program completion, the partners facilitate the graduates to enter the labour market and gather valuable first-hand work experience in IT businesses. Our video of the 2020 employability day, the yearly placement event of everyone codes, shows how this process works. For this event, everyone codes invited IT businesses to get to know their graduates and to recruit new highly motivated and skilled employees for their programming teams.
The video of the 2020 employability day is available here: https://short.wu.ac.at/siv_video_employability_day
In the meantime, Caritas and WU also work on creating an innovative solution for supporting the funding of the project, by establishing transnational cooperations with various partners. The vehicle to be used for this purpose is a European Cooperative Society (SCE), which is currently being established. The SCE will in turn harbour a transnational social impact fund dedicated to supporting different voucher programs aiming to alleviate labour market issues, among others also the training program of everyone codes.
The Austrian project addresses a broad target group and thus aims to give a chance to everyone looking to turn the page and to start a new career in programming, provided that they show the necessary commitment and motivation for taking on this challenge. The only conditions for participation are being officially registered as unemployed and passing the various stages of the selection process. The scrupulous recruitment is necessary due to the high demand for the services of everyone codes and as a result ensures an outstanding success rate in terms of future employment.
Social Impact of the SIV project
Especially in view of the Covid19 pandemic, the already popular IT field has seen a lot of additional demand, as it is also a field where remote work is easy to implement. This makes us confident that the everyone codes coding training offers a relevant and useful service, which will enable many more generations of graduates to succeed in acquiring new job skills in the field of programming as well as in finding work after completing the program.
Therefore, the SIV project makes an important contribution to lessen the severe effects of structural unemployment and, in more recent times specifically of the Covid19 crisis on the labour market in Austria, by giving disadvantaged people the necessary skills to find new employment in these trying times. Similar efforts are currently underway in the other partner countries as well.