Czechitas New Generation
Czechitas is a non-profit organisation behind the initiative Czechitas - New Generation, which aims to promote diversity in the information technology (IT) sector by increasing the number and participation of girls and women and enhancing the digital competences of the new generation of young people. Launched in 2014, the organisation has established educational and community centres in eight cities. The regional offices focus on local community needs and requirements, with the aim of maximising impact and involving the new generation throughout the regions of the Czech Republic. Czechitas also offers scholarships for women participating in the Digital Academy, financed from the European Social Fund.
Czechitas's network of centres throughout the Czech Republic enables the organisation of many workshops and courses on different levels of expertise, which focus on a particular skill or technology, giving a possibility to anyone to explore the world of information technologies. A wide range of activities, including workshops, lectures, summer camps/schools, hackathons, trade fairs, career support, as well as short online courses on different tech topics - programming, website creation, data analytics, cybersecurity can be accessed via the website. Courses with a longer duration, such as the 3-month long Digital Academy, which gives an opportunity to participants to reskill into the IT sector and receive a professional qualification, are also organised on a regular basis.
Czechitas New Generation's programme graduates learn how to code in various programming language, equipped with the skills they need to take the next step in their careers. Learners also understand how to create, develop and test software, and they improve their ability to analyse complex data. Through the wide range of activities organised under the umbrella of the organisation (including summer IT camps, requalification and learning courses), Czechitas hopes to inspire anyone interested in learning or technology, and strengthen diversity and competitiveness via an enhanced talent pool within the Czech Republic and beyond.
The programme has achieved considerable impact on its target audience since its launch, bringing together more than 20,000 participants in various workshops and upskilling activities. As of 2019, 17,000 students have graduated from Czechitas New Generation. The programme has also involved more than 500 coaches, lecturers and volunteers and has disseminated its activities through the publication of hundreds of articles. The initiative has grown over a short time frame, expanding into 6 cities from the two original ones, and aims to become the largest community in Czech Republic and the most relevant institution for informal IT education within the next three years by putting a stronger focus on all adults.