“Qualifica IT” initiative

Under this initiative, unemployed graduates are challenged to attend a computer programming programme.The second edition of the computer programing for the retraining of graduates, named “Qualifica IT“, started this year at the University of Minho (UMinho) with 75 trainees distributed in three groups. Compared to the first year, there were less 25 applicants,

but the standards levels and the workload remained the same – 600 hours of training in the classroom and 385 hours of practical training at a labour work environment in one of the partners’ enterprises where the learners will take the final stage of the training.

The programme requires a lot of work, in some days training lasts for eight hours and can withdraw the status of unemployed, said some learners of UMinho engineering school, at the presentation session, before an audience of one hundred and fifty unemployed graduates.

Qualifica IT” it is a specialised training programme, funded by the Institute for Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), as a result of a partnership between the municipal enterprise InvestBraga,  UMinho and IEFP. This partnership was created with the aim of training and making an easier entry of highly qualified young people into the labour market.

The first edition of this initiative guaranteed a 65% of employability rate among learners who successfully completed the training (85 out of 100), prompting prosecutors to say that this programme was a “success”.

The applications for the second edition are available at UMinho engineering school website, and it targets graduates especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

10% of vacancies are reserved only for graduates from the fields of economics, social sciences or law. The programme provides to the applicants a monthly allowance of 400 euros.

The IEFP director of the city of Braga pointed out that this training programme is critical to retrain unemployed graduates, providing an opportunity to return to the labour market.

However, the director warns that this programme  “is not a passport for a particular job, but it grants learners with the necessary skills to be employed”. According to him, in Braga, the employment connected with technology and computing has increased, namely in software development, but there is still a struggle to respond to all needs.

The IEFP director of Braga specified that “this programme gives us an opportunity” and he would like that the “Qualifica” widens to other areas such as sociology, philosophy or social work; however there is no business-side openness to hire graduates unemployed from these fields of university’s studies.

Thus, the director praised the opening of UMinho to the business community, but also expressed his concerns to respond to the market needs with a sense of social responsibility.

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