The position of immigrants in the labor market in Spain is characterized by the fact that they often retain jobs requiring relatively low qualifications, on temporary contracts or simply without contracts.
Increasing migrations into the EU raise the question of the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for promoting the integration of immigrants and cultural diversity in Europe. Real integration comes from the economic and social security people get from having a job.
We realize that technology can open many doors but it’s also creating a new type of exclusion so our challenge is helping to reduce digital divide.
The main component of the program is a course of workshops run by IBM volunteers for immigrant people and socially excluded groups at the Centro Pueblos Unidos in Madrid. These sessions focus on job seekers and improving their employability. The project provides technical skills training and a range of personal and professional skills support such as interview techniques, CV preparation and negotiation skills.
Employability workshops are training courses focused on providing some tools, knowledge and skills necessary for finding a job.
The first two sessions aim is basic training on using computer (text editors, Internet and email), as the education level of participants is practically nil and it is essential to have basic knowledge to use later in looking for employment through the Internet.
Third day, they learn to design their own CV.
With the curriculum ready, workshop participants address the issue of different job search methods, with special emphasis on Internet search. They all create their email account and profiles in Employment Web Portals, look for vacancies that can match with their profiles and send their resumes to apply.
In the last session job interviews are simulated by Human Resources professionals to evaluate candidate performance and to give them guidance to success in a real interview.
Each workshop involved 15 to 20 students and 15 to 20 volunteers from the company as well as 2 coordinators (1 from the company and 1 from the NGO)
Materials aimed at this specific client group did not exist in this context. The IBM volunteers made a need based analysis and develop the relevant materials and they have been responsible for the preparation of the materials for the workshops from the very beginning: structure, contents, documents, presentations and workshops to the participants.
Following on from the first IBM employability course, the group of volunteers together with the NGO implemented a workshop each month to give more people the chance to go through the training and to ultimately find work.
During these 30 months of collaboration, more than 120 volunteers have participated in the experience. Feedback from volunteers and from students is really positive. Internal communication to ask for volunteers to run the workshops has been one of our challenges.
Main lesson learnt is that is possible to implement a collaborative partnership between companies and NGOs if both entities have a common goal and a clear idea of the mission of each party involved.
This package is easily replicable for other organizations, other volunteers and also other countries and it is hoped the program will be shared amongst other NGO’s.
Benefits for employees, for the NGO and for the attendees, have been achieved.
Employees developed greater respect for diversity and for those in need apart from a great sense of involvement in the community and social obligation.
Employability of unemployed people is improved while we promote their personal autonomy and social integration.
Unemployed people with relevant difficulties of access to employment acquire job search skills by using ICT and they can easier get into the workforce.
The NGO has more resources to be dedicated to their programs.
More details are available under request.