“Direction: Employment” is an innovative training program for vulnerable young people, which enhances their employability in competitive, high-technology industries and the IT sector. The project aims to unleash the potential of NEET young people from vulnerable groups, and increase their employability by providing a market-specific IT training program in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Italy, Slovenia and Portugal.
“It looks like Front-End Programming suits me the most, and I look forward to learning more”, says Erika who completed the 320 hour IT course which consisted of Front-End programming, Python, Web Design, among numerous other subjects.
“Direction: Employment” targets young people between the ages of 17 and 29, who may be from different vulnerable groups – Roma, refugees, LGBTI people, young people growing up in extreme poverty and those who have dropped out of school. The project partners are NGOs, social cooperative and nonprofit educational institutions with track records in working with these target groups. An expert partner from Ireland provides the quality assurance for the project.
Courses also explored a number of crucial topics related to human rights, equal opportunities, openness, safety and inclusion at the workplace.
“The newest survey data collected by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights revealed that 51% of the Lithuanian LGBTIQ respondents claim that they hide their LGBTIQ identity at work, while 55% disclose that they were subjected to discrimination,” notes Monika Antanaitytė, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant.
“I am very happy with our project results. 60 people completed the courses, and many of them belong to the LGBTIQ community. This is a great indicator as from my own personal experience I know that being myself at work can be difficult. It can get worse if a person is not open about their sexual orientation at work as their quality of life and work performance could suffer because of it. I believe that these courses would inspire our students to search for an appropriate space. While building partnerships with local and international employers and companies it became evident to us that many of them are ready and determined to work with our students”, concluded Vladimir Simonko, Executive Director of the National LGBTI Rights Organization LGL.
The project “Direction Employment” is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. Norway, Island and Liechtenstein, with the purpose to reduce social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area, created EEA and Norway financial mechanisms. The project is implemented by Bulgarian Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation (Bulgaria), National LGBT rights organization LGL (Lithuania), DMC Metrix (Ireland), Lai-momo Cooperative Society (Italy), P.PORTO (Portugal), Ljudska univerza Velenje (Slovenia).