Reliance on digital technology at work can create barriers to entering the workplace, especially for young people lacking digital training. This was Esther’s problem: 29 years old and without access to ICT training, Esther felt she had no hope of getting a job.
The project, Making Youth Fit for the Digital Age, supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) was the solution to Esther’s problems. The Spanish initiative provides training for 16–30-year-olds. Esther participated in the digital transformation course and learned ICT skills for the digital work environment.
Empowered by her course’s teachers and the belief that they had in her, Esther praised the high quality of their teaching: ‘One of the things that I liked the most about the course was the quality of the trainers,’ Esther says. ‘They allowed me to develop the necessary skills to face the labour market.’ Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. According to Eurostat data, youth unemployment in Spain is rising faster than in other EU countries too.
ESF investments and Spain’s National Youth Guarantee Plan help young people in Spain to receive access to employment, on-going education, apprenticeships, or work experience within four months of finishing education or becoming unemployed.
Making Youth Fit for the Digital Age had over 260 courses to choose from and trained over 3 300 young people, helping them succeed in their work life. Hodei took part in the cybersecurity attack strategies course that afterwards helped him feel more hopeful about his future: ‘In the end, all this has helped me to grow, and to have more tools and more knowledge, so that I am not afraid of what is to come.’ 28-year-old Abel, who took part in the web development course, attested that the ESF funded project was invaluable to him: ‘for me it was a lifeline.’
Young people from 15 Spanish regions completed one of the project’s programmes. They received up to 150 hours of training and counselling in digital skills and experience to boost their career. As a result, more than 1 300 people secured a job contract after completing their training.
The project has been very successful in increasing employment and education amongst young people in Spain. Esther, Hodei, and Abel’s success stories represent just three young people who are now fit for the digital age.
Making youth fit for the digital age (2017-2018)
Entidad Pública Empresarial Red.ES (Spain)
Participants: 4 727
Amparo Puente García
Subdirectora Administración y Finanzas y Fondos Europeos
912127620 / 25. ext. 4417