YOUNG PEOPLE IN NORTHERN MOLDOVA HAVE MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMPLOYMENT IN IT
It is never too late for a career change! The Republic of Moldova has a major shortage of experienced or beginner IT specialists, especially at the regional level. Although the industry offers all the possibilities and conditions for talent and knowledge to be capitalized in any corner of the country, IT companies face an acute shortage of human resources, a constraint that significantly limits their development. For example, 26 IT companies operate in the Balti region, employing about 190 people – far below the expectations and potential of jobs that local businesses could offer.
In order to expand development opportunities in the regions and create the premises for connecting human capital with the possibilities offered by local IT companies, the Tekwill project in partnership with the “Optim” project developed the “IT Scholarship Program” in Bălți and Cahul. Beneficiaries included both young people with experience in IT eager to acquire new skills and employees from other sectors who chose to make a change in profession.
IT career – an important asset for young people in the Balti region
According to the World Economic Forum, in the coming years, about 90% of jobs will require ICT skills. Knowledge about programming is an important advantage in the labor market, according to program participants. In Bălți, young people studied the “Web Development” course, one of the most popular specialties in the field. They learned how to build, create, and maintain websites: design issues, content publishing, programming, and data management. The course was conducted online, and the training included state-of-the-art technologies, innovative learning methods and techniques with a proven impact in developing the skills and competencies required by the IT industry. Scholarship recipients received a coverage of 70% of the total cost of training. The finalists received graduation certificates.
Doina Florea, participant in the program: “I have been working as a computer science teacher for more than 11 years, in Rujnița village, Ocnița district. Because the IT field is constantly evolving, I have to keep up and participate directly in professional development courses. That is because I want to give the students I teach complete and current knowledge and help them develop their personal potential, so that in the future they can choose a career in the field.”
Alexandrina Mihalachi, participant in the program: “IT specialties are in great demand on the labor market. That is why I want to get a profession in this field; therefore, I continue to develop. I decided to apply to the Scholarship Program in IT because the IT industry is constantly changing, and I want to keep pace with new trends. I want to excel as a Front-End Developer, and I will continue to train myself in this regard. I intend to work for a well-known company, both in the Republic of Moldova and internationally.”
Local IT companies are ready to offer new jobs
The deficit of IT specialists is felt by all Moldovan companies regardless of their geographical region. The company’s representatives in Balti claim that they are ready to hire a much larger number of specialists if they were available on the market.
The IT Scholarship Program was implemented together with the Association for the Development of Electronic Communications and Innovative Technologies (ACETI), an association set up to contribute to the development of innovation in engineering and digital technologies, especially in the northern region.
Ion Bodrug, president of ACETI, Bălți: “The global pandemic has shown us how important the IT field is and how necessary it is for global education and digital skills to be promoted but also acquired by our young people. Practically, every company needs an IT specialist and investing in the professional training of young people could be a solution for the development of local companies and the creation of new jobs. Through training programs, we motivate young people to build their careers at home, and with the local workforce, local companies will be interested in coming to the regions.”
With the first edition, the IT Scholarship Program was developed in two regions of the country, Bălți and Cahul. The initiative was carried out with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) within the Project “Optimum – 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, with the support from the United States Development Agency and Sweden in the Tekwill Project.
Olesea Vieru, ICT Sector Coordinator, “Optim”: “The“ Optim ”project aims to stimulate and improve selected market systems and reduce regional disparities by increasing the private sector and facilitating innovation networks, as well as developing skills and access to information. The development of ICT skills and increased access to information on employment opportunities in regions outside Chisinau aims to reduce inequalities between rural and urban populations, increasing access to well-paid jobs in this sector. The courses launched in Bălți and Cahul with Tekwill improve the access to learning, retraining and employment in the field of ICT of men, women, and young people in the regions. We are pleased that this initiative has led to a fruitful partnership between Tekwill and the actors in the localities concerned, which opens up new possibilities for cooperation in the regions in the future.”
Ana Chirița, director of the Tekwill project: “This initiative is a first step for the development of the IT sector and the training of the workforce in the field, at regional level. The program is a synergy of the “Optim” and Tekwill projects to empower young people in the northern region with relevant knowledge to obtain qualifications and skills adapted to the current needs of the market. The second edition of the IT Scholarship Program will begin soon, and the training will take place both online and offline. These courses will be organized by experienced mentors as well, according to training programs specially designed and adjusted to the current rigors of the industry. In this way, we will offer young people the opportunity to explore their potential, to develop, to discover the world of information technologies and to choose more easily a career in the IT field.”