Generation: You Employed, Ireland
'You Employed' is a project by Generation Ireland which aims to fill in the gap between the disproportionate levels of unemployment within specific groups in Ireland and the employer demand in the digital sector. The 10 week-long bootcamp with over 200 learning hours incorporates lessons on networking, providing customer support and technical skill trainings. Alongside the curriculum, Generation Ireland offers learners with employability coaching, mentoring and practice job interviews.
Why is 'You Employed' needed?
In Ireland, unemployment levels are disproportionately impacting different groups: for example: young people (15-24), non-Irish nationals, people without formal education or degrees, people with dependents or people with disabilities. On the other hand, there are over 35,000 vacancies on the job market that employers are having a hard time filling. Generation Ireland, a charity supporting people who face barriers to employment, is working to address this via profession-specific training bootcamps, ongoing mentoring and pastoral support.
'You Employed' focuses on supporting people facing barriers to employment due to lower academic achievement, caring responsibilities and their marginalised status as ethnic minority people. So far, the project has included:
- 40% women
- 55% ethnic minority people
- 15% people with disabilities (mental or physical)
- 40% without a degree
- 95% unemployed at the start of the programme
- 30% unemployed for over a year
Why is this a good practice?
The 10-week bootcamp offered by Generation Ireland was designed with the collaboration of employers (through interviews and shadowing) in order to ensure its participants acquire profession-specific technical skills. The design is learner-centric, making sure the curriculum is adapted to people with limited education or who have been out of the workforce for some time. The curriculum is constantly being improved, through the help of learner and employer feedback.
Generation Ireland is also identifying needs in the job market and tailoring their bootcamps to address these – giving participants an even greater chance of being equipped with skills to enter life-changing careers. For example, having identified a gap in the growing tech, IT Support and Cybersecurity market, Generation Ireland partnered with Microsoft to expand their bootcamp to include these topics.
The bootcamp is delivered online so that participants do not need to travel in order to take part. To ensure that the initiative's accessibility to the maximum participants, they have taken into consideration inequalities to access to technological devices. While participants can use their own devices – if one does not have access, Generation Ireland provides them with a device for the duration of the programme, which is then returned, to be reused for other participants in the future.
Additionally, 'You Employed' has a dedicated outreach manager working to identify and engage with harder-to-reach groups. Throughout the programme, and up to 6 months after, each learner is paired with a mentor. When these participants apply, they complete a ‘Supports Needs Conversation’ survey with their mentor to make certain that Generation Ireland understands and supports their needs throughout the duration of the programme. Programme instructors are then informed of these and can, in turn, tailor the programme to match them.
Impact of the initiative
Since the launch of the initiative, they have supported over 300 learners across several profession-specific bootcamps, including AWS Cloud, Data Analytics and Customer Support. Out of these, 70% of the participants got a job in life-changing careers with salaries of over €30,000. Since November 2022, they have delivered 4 pilot cohorts, with the last one having graduated in June 2023.
They plan on delivering 3 more cohorts of 66-75 learners each in 2023, and a further 6-8 cohorts in 2024.