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TEKWILL PROJECT EXTENDING ITS WORKPLACE TRAINING PROGRAMS AT REGIONAL LEVEL
July 27, 2020 @ 10:10 am
The IT sector offers thousands of jobs. Despite higher salaries, a friendly workspace, and a multitude of development opportunities, however, no one applies. The acute labor shortage facing the IT field and related ones is echoed nationally, including in the major centers of the country: Balti, Cahul or Comrat.
One solution found by the TEKWILL Project, an important pillar in training the workforce adapted to current market needs, which contributes to increasing digital skills, including at the regional level, is the expansion of educational programs implemented at the country level.
Thus, in the northern and southern regions of Moldova will be carried out several projects to promote digital innovation in various sectors, to support technological startups, entrepreneurship education and career guidance of talented young people. In order to identify regional development opportunities and create the premises for connecting human capital with the possibilities offered by local IT companies, ATIC conducted a regional study.
The research was carried out by the non-governmental organization “Investment and Sustainable Development Fund”, with the support of the Swiss Cooperation Office within the Project “Optim – Opportunities through Technologies and Innovation in Moldova”, implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova, as well as with the support of USAID and Sweden, within the TEKWILL Project. The study targeted the regions of Balti, Cahul and Comrat.
The results of the study show that ICT companies, which also have offices in the regions, cannot progress due to a limited number of potential employees. The regional context shows that among the causes of the problem are low birth rates, migration but also the lack of development opportunities. Research has shown that:
- The share of students studying IT in regional universities varies from 2.8% in Comrat to 5.3% in Balti – a figure quite small, taking into account that in Moldova, on average, in the previous year 6.3 % of young people admitted to universities studied IT and telecommunications. At the same time, the quality of IT courses taught by local universities needs to be improved, in order to connect young people’s skills to the needs of the market.
- In the city of Balti, about 300 people work in the IT sector, while at the State University “Alecu Russo”, 250 young people study at technical faculties. At the other pole are the Cahul and Comrat regions, where higher education institutions need to introduce new courses in the program to fill the educational gap.
- In the regions of the country, including the cities of Balti, Cahul and Comrat, there are a small number of IT companies. In the Balti region operate 26 IT companies (188 employees), in Cahul – 6 companies (16 employees) and in Comrat – 8 companies (12 employees). Local employers are facing a labor shortage, which limits their development and competitiveness. As for the training and specialization segment that is lacking, these are: Java, JS, web development, PHP, testing, etc.
- At the current stage, companies in the regions cannot rely on the professional reconversion of the workforce in non-IT fields as the extra-curricular IT courses present on the market are either completely missing or are extremely expensive compared to the financial possibilities of the population. All this prevents non-IT professionals from acquiring new skills and knowledge in the field.
TEKWILL Academy comes with development opportunities for new ICT specialists
Given that the number of specialists and young people studying information technology or engineering subjects in the regions of Moldova is relatively small, the TEKWILL Project aims to create new opportunities for the IT field to become more accessible and attractive. Thus, during this year, TEKWILL will launch several educational development programs at regional level. Among them is the “Tekwill Academy” – an educational initiative that offers courses and technical training on specific topics taught by trainers and ICT professionals in Moldova and abroad. The project will focus on training non-IT professionals and students, strengthening the capacity of ICT professionals, but also increasing students’ digital skills – an important segment for tomorrow’s workforce.
Recently, in order to consolidate the expansion of development opportunities in the regions and create the premises for connecting the talent and potential of human capital with the possibilities offered by local IT companies, the TEKWILL Project launched the IT Scholarship Program for residents of Balti and Cahul.
The program provides training in web development – building, creating, and maintaining websites and includes design, content publishing, programming, and data management. Web developers can specialize in front-end, back-end and full-stack developers. The scholarships will cover 70% of the cost of training, and this means more affordable education for the inhabitants of Balti and Cahul. And for teenagers and young people in Balti, two other courses – “Graphic Design” and “Arduino” – were recently. The lessons will take place online, and those interested will be guided by a group of dedicated mentors. After graduating from the online course “Graphic Design”, participants will gain the knowledge and skills needed to implement creative projects through illustrations, photographs and animations, and the lessons of “Arduino” – the basics of microelectronics and electrodynamics.
TEKWILL projects that are expanding regionally include “Tekwill Academy Kids”, “Startup Academy”, “ICT Career Orientation”, support programs for startups and others.
The TEKWILL project – The revolution begins!
The TEKWILL project is implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies, with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development and Sweden. “Tekwill” was created in 2017 as a Center of Excellence of the ICT sector in Moldova, with the main purpose of aligning the field with current market requirements. Aiming to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the IT industry and other strategic sectors of the economy, the center expanded its fields of activity, becoming in 2019 a complex project at national level, with the slogan “The revolution begins!” The basic objective of the TEKWILL Project, as a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, is to ensure a major impact on the economic development of the country, by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society, but also by increasing the research and development potential of educational institutions, in line with the demand in the IT market.