Category Archives: Featured

Welcome to Ireland’s First Tech Apprentices!

Wishing every success to our first intake of tech apprentices in Software Development and Network Engineering who began their learning journey at Tallaght and Baldoyle Training Centres on Monday August 27th 2018.

The apprentices will undergo intensive training for their first six months before embarking on a career journey with strong industry support involving more than 31 international and indigenous tech companies. #GenerationApprenticeship

Tech Apprenticeship Day at this year’s School Summit on Sept 10th and 11th

FIT are proud sponsors of this year’s School Summit which offers students the opportunity to engage and discover the many career opportunities available to them for their future. 

Come along and check out the key speakers on the day! 

 

When?    Sept 10th and 11th 
Where?   National Show Centre, Swords, Dublin. 
What time?  10.30-14.30
Tickets:    https://schoolsummit.ie/2018-2/
 For more details on the event, check out the official School Summit website for more. 

Strong Industry Support for Ireland’s New ICT Tech Apprenticeship

Since the launch of Ireland’s new ICT tech apprenticeship, industry support has been outstanding. As the digital transformation captures the attention of companies nationwide, we are excited to share industry involvement and support in reaching top-tech talent via the apprenticeship route. 

Currently there are two individual Tech Apprenticeship programmes aimed at attracting candidates with an interest in software development or network engineering. Both programmes have significant on-the-job elements and were developed with the needs of industry in mind.

As the value of the practical application of skills, knowledge and competencies are paramount many great companies are engaging with apprenticeships to fill their skills gaps. If you are interested in Tech Apprenticeships – either joining or accessing this talent pool check our website www.fit.ie or email techapprenticeship@fit.ie for all the details.

Achill VTOS Open Day Thursday 26th July @ 4pm

Are you unemployed? Want to Improve your employability Skills? Interested in returning to education?

Take the first step and come along to our Open Day in Achill VTOS, Further Education Centre, Cashel, Bunacurry, Achill for information on the upcoming

Tourism with Business QQI Level 5

course starting in September 2018.

Meet with the tutors and the course coordinator who will assist you in making the transition from unemployment to employment.

For further information, contact Micheál on 0863474442 or email MichaelMcNamara@msletb.ie

 

FIT and Women in IT Awards 2018: Promoting Female Champions in Ireland

With just under 19% of Ireland’s tech sector being female, the Women in IT Awards programme has come to the region for the first time to highlight the women in technology paving the way. Encouragingly Irish women in IT are the second-best paid in the world, however they still lag massively behind their male counterparts by almost a fifth when it comes to pay. Since its launch in 2015 the Women in IT Awards have showcased women in technology in London and New York, with new launches in Asia, Ireland and San Francisco planned. Organised by business-technology site Information Age, the Women in IT Awards Ireland acts as a flagship and high-profile platform to support the industry in its mission to move the dial on gender.

We strongly encourage you to nominate your female champions to help lead the way in achieving greater diversity in Ireland’s tech sector.

To see a full list of categories see here and get those nominations in! 

NWCI Blog: Meet the Women Forging Careers with Tech Apprenticeships with Fastrack into IT

Aoife Sheehy, Tech Research and Development Officer at Fastrack to Information Technology (FIT), our latest group member, speaks to us about Ireland’s new and exciting Tech Apprenticeship. Aoife’s role @FIT is to research the skills demands of Ireland’s tech sector and to collaborate with stakeholders on how this thriving sector can provide opportunities for all.

With the prediction of almost 12,000 vacancies in the ICT sector the opportunities are boundless. Ireland’s leading companies are all embracing ICT for better ways to do business which has resulted in the creation of new roles that demand tech skills. The apprenticeships are for anyone aged 18 and upwards who seek an exciting pathway to a sustainable career in an industry that is renowned for flexibility, stability and creativity.

FIT are the National Coordinators of Ireland’s New Tech Apprenticeships which offers both on and off the job learning over two years in some of the country’s top tech companies. If you, or anyone you know, has ever considered a career in tech then this could be the perfect fit! For more information see here.

Blog from nwci.ie: https://www.nwci.ie/index.php/learn/blog-article/meet_women_forging_careers_ahead_with_it_apprenticeships_are_you_next

So Aoife, tell me why is an apprenticeship a good idea for those wishing to enter the tech sector?

Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for people to get practical experience from industry insiders and to develop both soft and hard skills in tandem. Not only do they cater to different learning styles, they also offer the chance to get a foot in the door with some of Ireland’s leading tech companies. On top of this they are well-paid and offer economic independence from the get-go! You will also obtain an internationally recognised technology qualification with a NFQ Level 6 Advanced Certificate on completion. The programme offers two distinct career paths; Systems and Networks and Software Development.

Tell me about why Gender Equality is central to your role at FIT?

Since taking on the role in FIT I have been fortunate enough to come across many females in tech companies that are leading change for the better but we need more! We truly believe that norms and attitude need to change surrounding females in Tech and are here to offer our full support for those wishing to enter the sector via the apprenticeship route. Our goal is to ensure gender balance and diversity are top priorities in the recruitment and retention of apprentices and have seen first-hand that an inclusive workplace has better outcomes for all. Reaching targets is not good enough and at the heart of our remit is placement and progression which we hope leads to full-time employment. Throughout the entire duration we are there to guide, mentor and support the apprentice to ensure that the learning experience is of high quality.

In a few steps, how do I become a Tech Apprentice?

  • Step 1: Apply online www.fit.ie 
  • Step 2: Attend a schedule information and apptitude seesion.
  • Step 3: Attend an interview with FIT
  • Step 4: Participate in CV & Interview preparation workshops
  • Step 5: Interview with companies

What do you find most challenging about achieving gender equality in the recruitment of apprentices?

To be frank, there is still a misconception that tech roles are more suited to men. This is certainly not the case! In fact, more and more women are quickly realising that the tech sector offers greater progression opportunities along with attractive perks and flexibility. It is with this in mind that I wish to share the stories of ICTAP participants Hayley Corrway, Laura Loughnane, and Elizabeth Brocklebank to showcase their experience in a bid to inspire confidence in those wishing to pursue a career in ICT. Big thank you to all for sharing your experiences!
 
Hayley Corrway: IT Support Technician @Coca-Cola Ireland  FIT Associate Professional Systems and Networks Student in RSTC Regional Skills & Training Centre Dundalk

Hayley was an early school leaver whose return to education was her participation in ICTAP programme. While she had no technical background, her excellent communication, determination and aptitude for IT helped her to stand out. Since then her combination of commitment, great attitude and excellent results, Hayley beat off stiff competition in securing her place working as an IT Support Technician with Coca-Cola in Drogheda, Co. Louth.

“I never thought I’d get to work in such an amazing company doing a job I absolutely love. It’s a dream come true & I never would have been given the chance if it wasn’t for Deirdre Arnold & FIT. This programme is an incredible opportunity & I’d advise anyone interested in IT to apply for this course.” Hayley Corrway

Laura Loughnane: Software Engineer in Training at SAP  – FIT Associate Professional Software Development Student in GRETB Training Centre, Galway.

FIT2

Laura came into the programme with no background in Software Development but with a passion for I.T. Through her hard work and determination Laura now works as a Cloud Support Technician with SAP Galway with many opportunities to learn and grow in the role.

“I never thought it was a possible for me to get into IT until I came across the Apprenticeship Program and even though it was a commitment and hard work, especially with no previous major IT training, with the right attitude and determination you can succeed. There is ample support given throughout the training and the tutors are knowledgeable and supportive. I highly recommended this course if you are looking for a gateway into IT at all levels of experience all you need is a natural interest in IT and determination. It is also fantastic to see more and more females working in the IT world that has been mostly male dominated in previously years.” Laura Loughnane

Elizabeth Brocklebank: IT Support Technician at Generali Link FIT Associate Professional Systems and Networks Programme in RSTC Regional Skills & Training Centre Dundalk.

Elizabeth came into the programme with no previous experience in Systems & Networks but with a passion and aptitude for IT, through her amazing attitude, commitment and hard work Elizabeth now works as an IT Support Technician with General Link, Global Specialists in Financial Solutions, Navan. 

“It’s a very supportive environment where you get practical experience of what you’re learning. I have always had an interest in IT and before this course I would never have had a chance to work in this area. I am now working in a job that I love” Elizabeth Brocklebank

FIT ICT Skills Audit for 2018 finds 12,000 current vacancies in the sector, offering quality job opportunities of diverse sorts to young and old alike.

The 2018 Audit finds demand is strong across a wide range of tech disciplines with 12,000 current vacancies in the sector as a whole, offering quality job opportunities at entry, competent as well as expert levels, and for young and old alike.  Tech companies are keen that more people, and especially more women, should be aware a variety of careers can be pursued in the sector, many of which do not require a third level qualification to start but rather a blend of technical know, passion for IT and good people skills. Many of the in-demand skillsets for the tech roles on offer can be acquired through further education and training vocational programmes delivered by Ireland’s 16 Education and Trainings Boards (ETBs).

At the launch of the report Peter Davitt, CEO FIT said, “the Audit highlights that, while there is robust demand in the IT industry for people with third level qualifications, there are currently even more vacancies for people at skills levels that can be attained through tech related programmes at Level 5/6 on the National Framework of Qualifications. It also demonstrates clearly that the Further Education and Training sector has an increasing role to play in addressing the immediate gap and foreseeable skills needs in Ireland.”

Liam Ryan M.D SAP (Labs) Ireland said, “the traditional path of going from the Leaving Certificate into four or more years of university is not the sole route to a tech career nor does it suit everyone. We must create multiple pathways to ICT careers that are attractive to a broader range of people. I’m delighted by the support expressed by tech companies through-out the country for the new Tech Apprenticeship which has the goal of 1,000 apprentices per annum by 2021.”

This latest Audit, which took place in in the period July 2017– January 2018, shows the major job growth in the sector is being driven by just by the expansion of existing IT companies but by the wider adoption of new IT technologies as more companies seek to use them to climb the value chain.  Currently, over 130,000 people are now employed in tech related sectors of the economy.  More tech companies in Ireland, both foreign and indigenous, are embracing key drivers of change such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud-based technologies, etc.  These technologies have potential in all industrial sectors to enhance productivity and performance.   

Other key findings from the FIT Skills Audit 2018 include:

  • There is strong demand for ICT practitioners across all disciplines and at different skills levels – 58% of immediate vacancies are for employees able to exercise skills at the competent and entry levels and 42% are at the expert level.
  • The demand is on the part of SME’s as well as of large corporations.
  • ICT jobs have grown in locations right across the country, both rural and urban.
  • Many of the vacancies require people who are tech savvy and have transferable skills and competencies in areas such as project management, entrepreneurship, marketing and customer service.
  • Tech sector companies also have many ancillary roles in areas such as logistics, administration, sales and marketing etc.
  • The prospect of skills shortages constraining companies’ business plans is growing. This is increasing employer support for the roll-out of the new Tech Apprenticeship and their desire to attract more women into the sector.
  • Tech related roles do not exist just in tech sectors but have emerged in practically every sector of the economy as new and emerging ICT technologies are able to impact the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of everything from agriculture to medicine.
  • Communications and problem-solving were voted first and second most important attributes with regard to transferable skills and professional development.

 

Paul Sweetman, Director Technology Ireland and FIT Board Member said, “since 2011, a staggering 34,500 jobs have been announced by technology companies in Ireland – large and small, indigenous and multinational. The FIT Audit points to an array of skills needed over the coming years. The Audit also supports the emergence of alternative routes into the sector. The ICT Associate Professional Programme Tech Apprenticeship is now seeing real traction and is a solid example of what modern apprenticeships can achieve. Graduates will display robust technical skills coupled with entrepreneurship and business savvy, acquired through direct and sustained work experience. It is an exciting compliment to the current availability of strong courses at third level.

 

About FIT

FIT is an industry-led initiative which works in close collaboration with government departments and national education and training agencies, local development organisations and a host of community based organisations. Its primary partners in education and training include SOLAS, ETBs, ETBI, Technology Ireland, Intreo, Third Level Institutions, Regionals Skills For and local development / community organisations.

FIT’s mission is to promote an inclusive Smart Economy by creating a fast track to marketable technical skills for those with the aptitude and ambition to commence a career in ICT. FIT is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. The Initiative develops and promotes technology-based programmes and career development opportunities for job-seekers wishing to progress in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. FIT commenced in 1999, operates nationally.

 

FIT Media Contact                                                   

George Ryan, COO FIT.                                                                         

Mob: +353 86 244 9536
email: georgeryan@fit.ie

Celbridge – Manufacturing & Pneumatics Technician Programme – Last places available

Underpinning the phenomenal rate of advancement in Technology is a vibrant and innovative manufacturing sector which is a major employer of Maintenance Technicians.

With this in mind. and with the support of Intel, FIT designed a new programme in industrial equipment support positioned at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

For more information about the course and to apply please click here

Winners of Student Survery 2018 Competition

Congratulations to all the winners of our Student Survey Competition!

  • First Prize of an iPad Mini 4 goes to: Caroline Faherty, Longford Town, Co. Longford
  • Winners of the 10 x €50 One4All Vouchers are:

– Sheila O’Connell, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14
– Niamh Kelly, Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath
– Christopher O’Leary, Douglas, Co. Cork
– Eva Ly, Tallaght, Dublin 24
– Dorota Urban, Blackpool, Co. Cork
– Elizabeth Thomas, Longford Town, Co. Longford
– Adam Danko, City Centre, Dublin 1
– Paul Verdon, Bray, Co. Wicklow
– Charles O’Donovan, Ballinlough, Co. Cork
– Conor Clarke, Ballinteer, Dublin 16

Join FIT’s new Tech Apprenticeship Team!

FastTrack to Information Technology CLG. (FIT) is the National Coordinator for the new ICT Associate Professional Tech Apprenticeship (NFQ Level 6) with a target intake of 250 Apprentices in 2018 rising to 1,000 by 2021.  FIT is now hiring for a number of roles to drive the successful implementation of this ground-breaking programme. Join our team and be part of this innovative new Apprenticeship Programme helping to shape the future of Ireland’s thriving Tech Sector. Candidates must be passionate about skills development and the provision of new pathways to an exciting career in Ireland’s leading growth sector.

 

Check here for detailed Job Specs and to Apply!

With a target of 1,000 participants a year by 2021, Ireland’s new Tech Apprenticeships redefine the concept of ‘hire education’

FIT Ltd. (Fast Track into Information Technology Limited) with the support of Accenture, SOLAS, Education and Training Boards and the Apprenticeship Council is pleased to announce two forthcoming new ICT apprenticeships, the first of their kind in Ireland.

Today, FIT is announcing a new tech apprenticeship initiative comprising two technology apprenticeships at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) namely:

  1. ICT Associate Professional Software Developer
  2. ICT Associate Professional Network Engineer

International experience indicates that ICT apprenticeships help technology businesses build a skilled and motivated workforce in a timely and cost effective manner. Employers of all sizes gain access to adept tech enthusiasts who attain bespoke skills that enable them to be highly productive and to ‘hit the ground running’ in a relatively short period.

Giving Employers Ready Access to Tech Talent

Open to people of Leaving Cert standard or equivalent, the tech apprenticeships embrace a ‘learning by doing’ format of ICT skills development, which has been championed by industry and is now incorporated as an integrated component of statutory provision.

The two-year paid programmes, based on a dual-education model, integrate college-based learning with on-the-job application in companies such as Accenture, and culminates in the attainment of the ICT Associate Professional Apprenticeship Award. All training costs of the apprentices will be covered by the State through the National Training Fund. FIT manages all aspects of the programme and coordinates employer input.

Peter Davitt, CEO of FIT said at the announcement today “Research that FIT is currently concluding into skills needs indicate current vacancies in the tech sector to be in the thousands and growing.  We believe 75% of these roles can be addressed in a timely manner through the new Tech Apprenticeships to the benefit of indigenous companies as well as the multi-nationals located in Ireland and most importantly to the benefit of those wishing to pursue a fulfilling career in the sector”.  Davitt praised the vision of the Apprenticeship Council for supporting the development of new apprenticeships and acknowledged the key role of the Education and Training Boards throughout the country in the delivery of the training elements of the programme.

Calling All Tech Enthusiasts?  The Tech Sector Wants YOU!

People with tech skills are in demand – not just in the IT sector – more and more jobs across industry require various levels of proficiency in IT.  This is a trend which is anticipated to grow as increasingly companies utilise technologies to manage their activities, market their products, communicate with their customers and increase productivity.  Emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are creating daily, new industrial sectors, way beyond the prospects of driverless cars, delivery by drones etc., resulting in the creation of new roles, skill sets and career paths across all sectors of the economy, which are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.

Hilary O’Meara, a Managing Director at Accenture Ireland said, “We are delighted to welcome 13 participants in the FIT ICT Associate Professional Software Development programme into Accenture this week which is part of the pilot initiative that preceded and informed the new Tech Apprenticeships. Participating companies, such as ourselves, sponsor trainees during the programme, allowing them to earn while developing important skills working with our teams and our clients. This programme brings increased diversity of experience and thinking and has enabled us to broaden our talent pool to shape the workforce we need to help clients succeed. Participants from the pilot programmes have been hired as Accenture employees at the end of their journey.”

Daniel Chew, a participant in the pilot programme said, “Being a part of the FIT ICT Associate Professional programme has been an amazing experience for me. I have learnt so much in the last six months in college and am very much looking forward to putting my learning into practice over the next 18 months with my sponsor company, Accenture. I am anticipating an exciting and bright future ahead in a dynamic and ever-changing Industry.”

ICT Associate Professional A Tech Skills Remedy!

Skills demand in technology companies is now a global issue. With the phenomenal growth in the sector, all jurisdictions are competing for tech talent.

Barry Lowry, Government Chief Information Officer said at the announcement “I am delighted to support the announcement of these apprenticeship programmes. The gap between the industry demand for digital and ICT talent and the supply of people qualifying with relevant skills continues to grow. These apprenticeships are an exciting and innovative response. They not only create a new source of skills supply to both public and private sector, they bring opportunities for people to enter or re-train into one of the most exciting and well-rewarded career paths available”.

Following the announcement Dr Mary-Liz Trant, Executive Director of Skills Development in SOLAS said: ‘We warmly congratulate FIT and the consortium on their development of two exciting new ICT apprenticeships. Together with the Education and Training Boards we look forward to supporting roll out of the new programmes over the coming months.’

 

Tech Apprenticeship Structure

The first six months of the programme is intensive college-based learning where apprentices are equipped with the necessary technical acumen.  The remaining 18 months are a combination of on-the-job experience with participating countries, supplemented with college-based instruction.

Participating companies pay candidates throughout the apprenticeship and facilitate the on-the-job learning, thereby enabling apprentices to generate added value through honing their knowledge, skills and competencies in real-time while contributing to product development, technological advancement and talent development. 

On successful completion of the programme, qualified tech apprentices will typically progress into full-time positions within their sponsoring companies thereby enhancing the talent portfolio while increasing productivity and competitiveness in those enterprises.

For further information email techapprenticeship@fit.ie

Programmes will commence in the first quarter of 2018.

Coca Cola Youth Empowered programme

#YouthEmpowered is a  programme  created by Coca-Cola HBC to empower young people through specialised training. The programme will be delivered in partnership with Fastrack to IT (FIT). The curriculum is designed to help remove the barriers that exist for young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who have left the formal education system but who have been unable to secure or retain employment. 

Contact FIT at info@fit.ie for further information.

FIT recognised for its insightful use of data analytics by IBM

FIT recognised for its insightful use of data analytics by IBM. FIT have been mentioned in the current IBM report ‘Leap before you lag’ which focuses on analytics and cognitive computing, outlining the benefits and uses of data analytics for non-profits. By sharing this report we hope other charities and non-profits will benefit too.

Check out the full report below.

 

Launch of the Malta ICT Skills Audit 2017 – Building Malta’s Tech Talent Pipeline

Download Malta ICT Skills Audit 2017 PDF

 

On 26th April 2017 eSkills Malta Foundation launched the Malta ICT Skills Audit 2017 which was carried out with the expert assistance and collaboration of FIT. The report articulates in some detail the skills required by the ICT Industry and type of provision necessary to respond to the employment opportunities arising,  Malta’s Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services, Dr E Mallia, and the Minister for Education and Employment, Minister Evarist Bartolo, both endorsed the report at the launch event..

 

Minister Mallia highlighted the fact that, as outlined, the required skills of the industry must be regularly monitored and whether these skills are being met nationally.  He added “that matching the skills gap is not easy but this study should help in identifying specific ICT industry skills and competences required by the country.  The ICT Skills Audit gives some important recommendations, and that it is highly suggested that these are given their due importance.  The success of this plan should be monitored as we progress so that it is adjusted to the Malta’s needs.”  Minister Bartolo said that Education and Training must work together with the industry to find ways to bridge the gap as much as possible.  “This could be by way of change in curriculums, and change in the way individuals proceeds during their studies, for example by using an apprenticeship scheme or industry placement.” As highlighted, importance must be given to the soft skills and professional development that are not only complimentary but essential for persons working in the ICT. 

Getting Citizens Online

 

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment’s  ‘Getting Citizens Online‘ Programme is, in line with the National Digital Strategy, focused on encouraging and empowering citizens to participate fully in Ireland’s digital economy and society.

For further information click Here

Get Online Week 2017

 

 

 

GET ONLINE WEEK 2017 runs from 27 March – 2 April this year. If you want to participate or get involved just check out our GET ONLINE WEEK page click the logo. or to fill in the participant survey, click the survey button below. 
                    

#GOW17 #digitalskills

 

 

 

 

J.P. Morgan and FIT launch partnership for wider access to ICT careers


Photo from the launch left to right: Liam Ryan SAP, Carin Bryans J.P. Morgan, John Halligan Minister for Training and Skills, Shara O’Toole ICT Associate Professional participant, Peter Davitt FIT, Anthony Carroll ICT Associate Professional participant


New partnership between FIT and J.P. Morgan widens access and diversity in Software Developer and Network Engineering roles.

New route into Technology Careers gives employers a new talent pipeline of smart people who choose to ‘earn and learn’.

Dublin, July 5th, FIT and J.P. Morgan today announces a new partnership which aims to widen access and support diversity through the tech industry’s fledgling ‘earn and learn’ programme, the FIT ICT Associate Professional. Through the support of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, FIT aims to attract women and men from diverse backgrounds to consider embarking on fulfilling careers in ICT which has an ever growing need for fresh talent.

The FIT ICT Associate Professional programme is aimed at those who have an interest in and a passion for technology.  This is an exciting prospect for young women and men to embark on careers in Software Development and Network Engineering. The dual education nature of the courses – combining college-based learning with work-based training – broadens the choices available to people, particularly those who favour learning by doing. They will gain a qualification that will position them well for a career in a technology role across any sector.

Tech skills are increasingly in-demand as all sectors rely more and more on ICT technologies to carry out their businesses whether they are  multi-nationals, SME’s or public sector bodies. An issue causing growing concern for employers in Europe and the US is how to attract and develop the tech talent they need. Ireland faces the same dilemma and new job openings are set to top 10,000 additional jobs per annum in the coming years. It is then perhaps, no surprise that the tech sector and other sectors needing ICT skills, are embracing the new ICT Associate Professional initiative with over 100 employers  already engaged as sponsors of the 150 participants who have joined the programme to date. FIT and J.P. Morgan believe that the ICT Associate Professional and similar dual education initiatives can provide a pathway into tech sector jobs which can  widen access, encourage diversity and enable  the participation of new streams of talented people. The partnership aims to improve awareness and interest in tech careers amongst unemployed jobseekers and to students in second-level schools, especially DEIS schools, and to encourage them to consider such ‘learn and earn’ programmes. In tandem FIT will provide access supports to applicants, such as guidance, assessment and interview skills and ongoing mentoring throughout the programme.

Officially launching the initiative with 30 employers and ETBs present John Halligan TD, Minister for Training and Skills said: “The collaboration between FIT, J.P. Morgan, the ICT industry and ETBs is an example of how we can harness our joint efforts and create excellent opportunities for people to gain skills and thereby enter quality careers. I am particularly pleased with the inclusive approach adopted by FIT and commend and welcome the support for this from J.P. Morgan. This type of initiative complements the existing actions in the ICT Action Plan and I will follow with great interest the progress of the initiative and the lessons we can learn from it.”

peaking at the launch event which was attended by representatives from a range of stakeholders including industry, the educational sector, government and policy makers in the area of future skills needs Mr. Liam Ryan, FIT Chairperson and Managing Director of SAP Ireland said: “The gap between those qualifying with relevant skills and the number of opportunities available in technology roles continues to grow – demanding a new and innovative response.  We believe that this new approach to education will play a critical part in providing access to a new pool of people with the right skills that are in demand by industry now. Employers have the opportunity to directly influence the skills that form part of the qualification – the ‘on the job’ learning is a critical component – ideal for a student but also for the employer as it means that someone is ready for work – and indeed already working for them – on the day that they qualify.”

Carin Bryans, Senior Country Officer of Ireland, J.P. Morgan said: “While the overall labour market situation has improved, young people without university degrees and long-term unemployed still find it difficult accessing quality jobs.  We know that quality training and development of key in-demand skills, including Software Development and Network Engineering, is a powerful strategy for expanding access to opportunity and promoting economic mobility. We are excited to support the mainstreaming of apprenticeships in high growth sectors in the economy, like technology, and scaling the ICT Associate Professional apprenticeship-style programme is a great way of doing this.”

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s commitment to promote workforce readiness triggered its support for the FIT ICT Associate Professional programme. The Foundation backs a series of training programs that help individuals acquire the knowledge, skills and expertise necessary to obtain good-paying jobs, compete in the global economy and find new pathways to economic opportunity.

Paul Sweetman, Director of ICT Ireland and the Irish Software Association said: “Ireland has had incredible success in establishing a vibrant multinational and indigenous tech sector, but we can’t take future success for granted. Competitor economies are upping their game and we need to compete aggressively. The ICT Associate Professional is a game changer and will enable Ireland to become a global technology powerhouse. Today’s partnership between FIT and J.P. Morgan strongly reinforces this ambition.”

Peter Davitt, CEO FIT said: “FIT is delighted that J.P. Morgan is supporting FIT to broaden opportunity for smart people with smart skills.  Over the last fifteen years FIT has supported people from diverse backgrounds to enter the tech sector and build great careers. Developing this new ‘earn and learn’ route is already proving to be a success and is made possible with the active collaboration and support of SOLAS, ETBI, ICT Ireland and the participating ETBs in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Athlone, Monaghan and Dundalk.”

About FIT

FIT is an industry-led initiative which works in close collaboration with government departments and national education and training agencies, local development organisations and a host of community based organisations. Its primary partners in education and training include SOLAS, ETBs (formerly VECs), ETBI, ICT Ireland, Intreo, Third Level Institutions, Léargas, Leader / Partnership Companies and LESNs.

FIT’s mission is to promote an inclusive Smart Economy by creating a fast track to marketable technical skills for those with the aptitude and ambition to commence a career in ICT. FIT is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. The Initiative develops and promotes technology-based programmes and career development opportunities for job-seekers who have become detached from the labour market in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. FIT commenced in Dublin in 1999 and now operates across the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. For more see fit.ie

FIT is piloting the ICT Associate Professional initiative with a total of 220 places available nationwide. It is a two year programme and carries an award at Level 6. FIT is currently recruiting for upcoming programmes in Dublin, Louth, Kildare/Wicklow and Waterford/Wexford. The FIT Board has set a goal of expanding the number of places to 2,000 by 2020.

FIT Media Contact                                                       

George Ryan, COO FIT.                                                                      

Tel: +353 86 2449536                                                

Email: georgeryan@fit.ie


What is ICT Associate Professional?

ICT Associate Professional is a new dual-education programme, designed to provide the ICT industry with candidates with in-demand technology skills

ictaplogotransparent1

Download ICTAP Employer Information Leaflet

 

Click here to apply for ICT Associate Professional

 

 

FIT has been charged by government and the tech sector with the implementation of ICT Associate Professional (ICT AP) – a new dual education format, designed to provide the ICT industry with candidates with in-demand technology skills in a timely fashion.

International experience indicates that hiring ICT apprentices can help businesses build a skilled and motivated workforce in a cost effective manner. Equally important, employers of all sizes can get access to highly motivated tech enthusiasts who attain bespoke skills which enable them to be highly productive and to “hit the ground running” in a relatively short period of time.

Skills demand in technology companies is a global issue. With the phenomenal growth in the sector, all jurisdictions are competing for tech talent. Ireland has turned this global demand for skills into a competitive advantage.

The recently published FIT ICT Skills Audit 2014 identified in excess of 7000 current vacancies in the tech sector in Ireland, of which 75% are at competent and entry levels and which can be satisfied by training programmes at levels 5/6 on the National Framework of Qualifications. The tech companies who participated in the survey ranged from major multi-nationals to indigenous SMEs representing in excess of 30% of those employed in the sector. All of the companies who participated stressed the importance of ready access to a tech talent pipeline to grow their business and productivity as the economy grows. 84% of those surveyed welcome the introduction of FIT ICT Associate Professional as a complementary stream for growing tech talent required by industry.

The ICT Associate Professional Model

FIT ICT Associate Professional is “learning by doing” format of ICT skills development which has been endorsed by the industry and government. This model of provision is a two year programme during which candidates who are competent tech enthusiasts attain a Level 6 ICT and Professional Development Award and are bestowed the title of FIT ICT Associate Professional by the industry on effectively demonstrating the application of skills in the working environment.

The first six months are college based where candidates will acquire the technical acumen. The remaining 18 months are a combination of workplace application and college based earning where candidates will further their training and apply their skills and learning to live projects and tasks within their sponsoring company. An ICT Associate Professional works for you while learning the skills they need to become a valuable team member. They attain high level tech skills in disciplines specific to your requirements and in a manner that ensures standards of excellence that contribute to performance and productivity to meet your business needs.

The overarching pillars of ICT AP are Software Development and Systems & Networks.

Industry Endorsement & Participation

Companies such as Accenture, AOL, AQMetrics, Cork Internet Exchange, Fujitsu, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Stanley Security and Version 1, to name a few, have already embraced the initiative, viewing it as a practical pathway to acquiring in–demand tech skills.

This is a great opportunity to tap into a valuable ICT Talent Pipeline which will enable you to achieve a motivated, skilled and committed workforce in a timely and cost efficient manner.

The ICTAP programme is being rolled out in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Athlone and Monaghan and we are actively engaging with employers to participate on the programme.

Next Steps..

To find out more about getting involved or to arrange a meeting with a member of the FIT team, please contact ICTAP on ictap@fit.ie or by phone on 01 8825570.

 

ICTAP Galway – Software Development – Information Session Thursday 28th Jan

The Information Session for ICT Associate Professional in Galway  for the Software Development stream, will be held on:

Thursday 28th Jan 2016

10:00am GRETB Training Centre Mervue Galway

The course Start Date is the 28th February 2016.




FIT ETB Logistics & Distribution course starting soon in Galway, Apply now!

Read below for more information on the course.

FIT Galway Logistics & Distribution

Logistics & Distribution

Training Aim

The aim of this programme is to enable the learner to acquire the knowledge, skill and competence to work independently and under supervision, managing inventory, ordering and receiving goods and supporting a freight forwarding service in a range of logistics and distribution environments and contexts. On successful completion of the programme, learners may progress into higher education and training or to employment.

Duration: 39 Weeks
Level: FETAC Level 5

Modules:

  • INDUCTION – COMMON AWARDS  
  • WAREHOUSING 
  • INVENTORY CONTROL 
  • PURCHASING
  • FREIGHT FORWARDING 
  • COMMUNICATIONS
  • WORD PROCESSING
  • SPREADSHEET METHODS

FIT ETB courses starting in Maynooth

Register your Interest for the Courses Below!

Maynooth Courses

We are currently recruiting for courses starting in Maynooth :

Office Administration

Duration: 38 Weeks
Level: FETAC Level 5

Modules:

  • Career Planning & Job Seeking Skills
  • Customer Service
  • Database Methods
  • Induction – Common Awards
  • Information & Administration
  • Spreadsheet Methods
  • Text Production
  • Word Processing
  • Work Practice – Office Administration

IT MAINTENANCE

Duration: 14 Weeks
Level:FETAC Level 5

Modules:

  • Comptia A+ – 220 801
  • Comptia A+ – 220-802
  • It Systems Support- Pc Maintenance
  • Preparing For Work

WAREHOUSE OPERATIONS

Duration: 9 Weeks
Level: FETAC Level 5

Modules:

  • Career Planning & Job Seeking Skills
  • Induction – Common Awards
  • Warehousing – 5n2725

The final allocation of places will be at the discretion of College who will be contacting successful applicants to confirm allocation of places The FIT initiative is for unemployed people to access training and pursue employment opportunities requiring skills in Information Technology (IT).

To join a FIT course you do not need any formal education or previous experience. Applicants must be over 18 and in receipt of a social welfare payment for 156 Consecutive days.

Manufacturing Technician Maintenance Skills

Ever consider an exciting career in Advanced Manufacturing and to work for companies like Intel, HP, Wyeth’s or other leading manufacturing companies.

FIT is now recruiting for a Manufacturing Technician Skills course leading to quality careers in industry.

This programme is designed to position female and male candidates to pursue a challenging and rewarding career in the exciting role of manufacturing process support in a wide variety of settings.

Manufacturing support roles can encompass electronic, electrical, mechanical, PLC (Programmable logic controllers) and some mathematical skills
.
We are keen to encourage women to consider this opportunity promoting diversity in the workforce.

If you would like to find out more:
Check out the course details below or you can contact us via email at info@fit.ie or phone 01 8825570.

We will be holding another information session soon check this page for updates

see below for details and to note your interest

Course details button

MTMS logos

FIT & Microsoft Youth2work Collaboration with GAA

Youth2Work is an initiative created by Microsoft and FIT to inform and equip 10,000 young people with technology skills which are in demand by employers all across Ireland. With an investment of €3m from Microsoft, the programme is ahead of its targets with 7,800 young people either trained, in further education, employment or in training right now after the first two years.

Moving into year three, Microsoft and FIT have an ambition to grow the programme and reach even more than the planned 10,000 young participants. With this in mind, the GAA has come on board as a partner with Microsoft and FIT to help introduce Youth2Work to local communities in Cavan and Monaghan.

FIT TRAINING MODEL SHARED ACROSS EUROPE – “FIT4JOBS – Sharing innovation across the EU”

FIT is leading a consortium of partners from across Europe, engaged in piloting the FIT “training for Employment” model in five European countries including Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain.

The “training for employment” model pioneered by FIT is unique in its approach to employer engagement in the process and provision of softskills and support to students before, during and after the training. FIT has trained 15,500 job seekers and placed over 12,000 in employment since 1999.

The FIT4JOBS  project honours the FIT Pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs[1]  to commence the propagation of the FIT  “Training for Employment” (TFE) model across Europe.

Each country partner will plan, execute and provide analysis of this unique fit4jobs pilot which provides a complete and tested series of activities which results in an ICT up-skilled job seeker entering the workplace.

The process includes the following main steps: identification and selection of suitable candidates for training, partnership with local employers to specify the curricula, provision of ICT training by 3rd party or public services, provision of softskills training and support, job placement, and overall project analysis. Job placement is secured through a strong relationship between employers and local partner before during and after training.

A unique and vital aspect of this process is the strong support from employers to specify skills requirements, conduct CV reviews, mock interviews, work experience and finally job placement. A second key element is the softskills and supports offered to the job seekers before, during and after ICT training. Softskills include a range of subjects designed to increase employability levels of the student, such as CV preparation, mock interviews and work etiquette.

This TFE model has been the basis of FIT training over the past 15 years and has demonstrated a 75% progression result. It is believed that, not only can this outcome can be achieved in other jurisdictions, but the collective learning from the pilots will greatly enrich the FIT model in the future and render it suitable for much wider dissemination and inclusion in EC and national governments policy.

The FIT4JOBS project started November 2014 and will run for 18 months during which the partners will engage with local employers, arrange and supervise the ICT training, provide softskills training & support and support job seekers in obtaining job placements. Data will be collected during multiple stages of the project and the results of the project will be disseminated widely by Telecentre Europe.

The FIT4JOBS pilot is intended to demonstrate the unique value of the FIT training model and in particular the focus on employer engagement. The pilot across five other European countries will not only prove the model is transferable to other jurisdictions but also enrich the overall model for further propagation across all European states and beyond. There is the potential to place 100,000 job seekers in jobs by 2020 through this process.

It is strongly anticipated that the learning from this project will be viewed positively by national governments and the European Commission and considered favourably in future related strategies and policies.

FIT4JOBS – Partner organisations

Greece: The Hellenic Professionals Informatics Society (HePIS) is a network of all ICT Professionals in Greece advocating their interests at both national and European level.

Ireland: FIT Ltd (Fast Track to IT) is an industry-led initiative which works in close collaboration with the (Irish) government departments and national education and training agencies, local development organisations and a host of community based organisations, to provide IT training for employment to long term unemployed.

Latvia: Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LIKTA), the leading ICT professional non-governmental association promoting the development of Information Society and e-skills in Latvia.

Lithuania: The Lithuanian Association Langas I ateiti (Window to the Future), a non-profit initiative launched in 2002 by private companies and that provides computer literacy and Internet training to adults stimulating the growth of e-services countrywide

Portugal: Programa Escolhas, a nationwide program, created in 2001 and operating under the High Commission for Migration, aiming to promote social inclusion of children and young people from vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds.

Spain: The Spanish Association of Telecentre Networks” (ACRT) brings together a number of entities to impulse, activate and maintain public spaces (telecentres) in order promote the Information Society and provide access to ICT to citizens

Telecentre Europe is a member-based association representing networks and NGO’s in the field of digital skills, social inclusion and ICT adult education providers. We represent telecentres, telecentre networks and any European organisation that provides access to and training in digital skills.

For more information contact Manus Hanratty: manushanratty@fit.ie  www.fit4jobs.eu

This publication is supported by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS (2007-2013).

This programme is implemented by the European Commission. It was established to financially support the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in the employment, social affairs and equal opportunities area, and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Europe 2020 Strategy goals in these fields. The seven-year Programme targets all stakeholders who can help shape the development of appropriate and effective employment and social legislation and policies, across the EU-27, EFTA-EEA and EU candidate and pre-candidate countries.

For more information see: http://ec.europa.eu/progress

The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.

[1]  FIT Pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs was endorsed by Microsoft Europe

 

FIT at Career Zoo, Friday 21st of February, 10am – 5pm

FIT will be one of the many companies in attendance at the Career Zoo event in the Convention Centre Dublin on Saturday, the 21st of February. we will be located at stand number 89. There will be information provided on our current momentum courses (Social Media for Business, Systems & Networks and Web Development) and our new ICT Associate Professional “Apprenticeship Style” earn as you learn programme.  You will be able to apply for both of these programmes with us at the stand.

The Covention Centre Dublin

Winners of the FIT Student Progression Survey Competition 2014/2015

Congratulations to the winners below of the FIT Student Progression Survey Competition 2014/2015 and a special thanks to MJ Flood for donating the First prize iPad Mini.

Won: iPad Mini Vincent Jackson Logistics & Distribution Course Navan
Won: One For All Voucher Samantha Byrne IT & Office Skills Rowlagh
Won: One For All Voucher Edwin O’Meara PC Maintenance Tipperary
Won: One For All Voucher Joshua Russilo Reception & Clerical Skills Balbriggan
Won: One For All Voucher Con Scannell PC Maintenance & Servicing Collinstown
Won: One For All Voucher Tony McDermot PC Mainteance Greenhills
Won: One For All Voucher Claire Langstone Business Through Computers Whitehall
Won: One For All Voucher Shane Kieran Contact Centre Operations Dundalk
Won: One For All Voucher David Cooney PC Maitenance Greenhills
Won: One For All Voucher Elizabeth Elebert PC Maitenance Tipperary
Won: One For All Voucher Roberto Adamaheto New Horizions (CCNA) Strand Road

MJ Flood are celebrating 80 years in business in 2015. For more information on MJ Flood check out their website at www.mjflood.ie

MJ Flood Print+Imaging (Master)

ICTAP Tech Careers Fair, 9th December, RDS, 10am – 12pm

A free tech careers fair for FIT ICTAP is being held at the RDS on the 9th of December at 10am.

FIT ICT Associate Professional is an ‘apprenticeship type’ opportunity in the tech sector where candidates will be sponsored while they ‘earn and learn’ by leading tech companies such as Accenture, AQmetrics, CIX, Fujitsu, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Version 1 etc.  It is a two year Level 6 programme after which successful candidates will progress their careers within the ICT Sector.

For more information about the programme visit our ICTAP Page

Register to attend the event ICTAP Tech Fair

tech info

Launch of FIT ICT Associate Professional

Educational scheme for ICT sector to be piloted by FIT

ICT associate professional initiative will allow students to ‘earn as they learn’

Author: Pamela Newenham – The Irish Times

Fast-track to IT (FIT), along with further education and training authority Solas and the education and training boards, is to pilot a new ICT associate professional initiative whereby students will earn as they learn.

The initiative, beginning in February, will launch new courses that combine college- based learning with work- based training. This will broaden the choices available to prospective employees, particularly those who favour learning by doing.

The pilot programme will cater for 200 people over the coming year in Dublin, the midlands and Cork. Students will receive a salary as they work to secure a qualificationrecognised by the tech sector.

A 2014 skills audit highlighted a strong demand in the IT industry for people with university degrees and doctorates, but also vacancies for people with IT skills at levels five and six on the National Framework of Qualifications.

The audit found that more than 75 per cent of ICT skills currently needed by employers are at entry and competent levels, and are thus accessible to candidates who undertake technology training programmes ranging from six to 24 months at levels five and six on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Peter Davitt, chief executive of Fit, said the new ICT initiative is intended to address the skills shortage that has led to thousands of job vacancies in ICT, while providing young people with a new route to careers in technology.

Attractive choice

IBM Ireland managing director Peter O’Neill welcomed the new educational model, saying it will give young people a really attractive choice when they consider their options for the future. “The Fit ICT skills audit validated something that we have known for years: not all IT skills require degree-level qualifications. There are lots of opportunities for people with proficient technical skills. Not only does this allow more people to join a dynamic sector, but it also helps employers to hire people at the right level for the appropriate job.”

Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English said there had been a radical overhaul of further education and training in recent years with the establishment of Solas and the education and training boards. “The Fit ICT associate professional [initiative] is a very tangible result from these changes and one which I believe will play a critical role in meeting the needs of both businesses and young people who are seeking rewarding work in our growing economy,” he said.

 

FIT Announces Skills Audit 2014 and an ICT Associate Professional Initiative

““The audit highlights that while there is strong demand in the IT industry for people with university degrees and doctorates, there are more vacancies for people with IT skills at Level 5/6 on the National Framework of Qualifications. It also demonstrates clearly that the Further Education and Training sector has a huge role to play in addressing the immediate gap and foreseeable skills need in Ireland”” – Peter Davit, CEO FIT Ltd.

FIT ICT Skills Audit 2014 reveals the need for IT Professionals in all sectors continues to grow. Check out the complete audit report here.

Youth2Work Champion

Bernard Dunne, a Dublin man, is a former WBA Super Bantamweight World Champion. Having pursued his boxing career for many years he transformed himself to now be a successful TV Broadcaster and Author.

Last year Bernard became the Youth2Work Ambassador and undertook the challenge of doing the Youth2Work mobility course. Attending classed for eight weeks he re-skilled and has now gone from hardly knowing how to use his phone to now having his phone and surface linked, accessing documents while on the go and using the technology in his professional life with the Dublin football team and when he gives presentations.

Youth2Work2
From Left to right: Peter Davitt CEO FIT Ltd, Cathriona Hallahan Head of Microsoft Ireland, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former WBA Super Bantamweight World Champion Bernard Dunne at the launch of the Youth2Work event (Feb 2013)

While he is unlikely to move into the IT industry on a full time basis Bernard values having IT skills as they can be applied across his broadcasting, writing and social media activities.

In year two as the Youth2Work Ambassador Bernard is now going to be a key speaker at the planned Youth2Work Roadshow events around the country. Bernard will attend the events and speak to youth about his transformation story and hopefully inspire many to sign up to a Youth2Work course.

To apply for a Youth2Work course and find out more details emailyouth2work@fit.ie or call or call FIT on 1800 815 715.