- Endoor and the Municipality of Enschede have joined forces and selected a number of people on welfare benefits for a new training programme.
- The ICT sector is always developing, and there is a high demand for more professionals.
“The first step was selecting potential participants”, says Bieleveldt. “We selected a number of benefits recipients who have a passion for ICT and are motivated to get back to work in cooperation with Werkplein Twente. This group then went through our ‘Talent Scan’: this provides an insight into their skills and qualities.”
“This is an important step because you need motivation, perseverance and at least an intermediate vocational education (MBO-4) level of thinking as a software developer. We were positively surprised: more than 20 people were able to start our 4-month programme. They were all very suitable candidates who normally sit at home all day and could now follow a training programme. Not to temporarily absorb peaks in production, but for a job with perspective and content.” Marsch adds: “Helping people get back to work is one of the municipality’s core objectives. This course trains people for future-proof jobs because jobs in the ICT sector are fairly secure and very cyclical. It also contributes to our economy because the ICT sector supports many other sectors. This programme allows us to offer perspective to the participants. The cooperation with Endoor was perfect because they provide the education and they have an extensive network in Twente. We can use this to increase the chance of finding a job. Half of the group is already working at companies in the region. A great result.”
A big part of the success of this training programme was personal attention. That is the foundation, according to Marsch: “people on welfare benefits have often been through hard times, and just offering vocational education to them is not enough. We have to go a step further and also guide them in their personal lives. This creates a synergy that really helps them along the way”. Bieleveldt explains: “All participants received intensive coaching during the programme, and they had an online call with their counsellor every fortnight. We had to shift to working online after only two days because we started the programme in March 2020, right when the corona crisis started. Everyone was very enthusiastic about the digital aspect, however. It meant that they could work whenever they preferred. Some people prefer to study in the morning, others in the evening. That also taught us an important lesson, and we will certainly not go back to being completely ‘offline’ now. We do want to change some things: we want to involve companies earlier in the process. We will use speed dates to introduce them to their potential employees, and the participants can carry out assignments that come straight from the field.”
“We hope to make matches sooner, in this way. We can also realise a trial placement of up to three months at the end of the programme. This period will show if the job and company match well. We hope that participants can get a long-term job by keeping it accessible for companies.”
Bieleveldt concludes: “The first group was fantastic. There is so much potential in this target group, and they are incredibly motivated to get back to work. It is wonderful to see how people come to life when they get a second chance. We give them that chance by training them and placing them within companies that see their strength and motivation. We want to start our next programme in February, so companies will have another opportunity to add these wonderful people to their organisation!