Monthly Archives: July 2016

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 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