About the Project
Programming for the Future (PfF) is a collaborative project between Education For Employment and Accenture that has since been expanded into a broader, second-phase Training for the Future (TfF) project.
Among PfF’s initial aims were to increase access to market-driven professional and advanced programming skills training for disadvantaged youth; increase the capacity of training organizations to deliver high quality, market driven IT training services for young people in their communities; and develop strategies and local, national, and international alliances to scale youth employability IT training models and practices.
The targeted population for this project was disadvantaged youth between the ages of 16 and 30 who are under-educated and/or “at risk” for un- or underemployment and resulting social and economic marginalization. Participants received market relevant life and advanced programming skills training and certification, internships at Accenture, and job placement support. The program sought to enable over 80 percent of youth who complete training to obtain advanced programming jobs with Accenture or other companies within six months of graduating. In addition to training and placing disadvantaged youth in internships and in market demanded IT jobs, outcomes of the program included training social partners in each country with significantly improved capacity to deliver technology training that leads to youth employment as well as a comprehensive and consistent monitoring and evaluation systems for all initiatives with a robust learning agenda, and strategies and alliances to sustain and scale IT training models in each country.
The program implementation undertaken by EFE reached across five countries over 12 months, starting in May 2013: five countries (Spain, Argentina, Morocco, Brazil, South Africa), training 125 disadvantaged youth.
In Morocco, EFE directly implemented the program through its local affiliate EFE-Maroc. In the remaining countries, EFE worked with local implementing partners.
The training methodology that was used by Programming for the Future includes several innovative elements:
1) Incorporate life skills training and English language learning considered vital to employment success;
2) Provide advanced market driven programming training helped by Accenture and main software providers;
3) Provide on-the-job training (internships) to students through the Accenture Delivery Network and HR in each location;
4) Work with training partners to support student job placement in companies such as Accenture or others;
5) Mentorship support after placement to help young people effectively transition into work environments.
As an important, innovative complement to capacity building, a learning ecosystem for Programming for the Future was provided to promote cross-organizational learning, improve program outcomes and ultimately lead other stakeholders to invest in the program.
The learning ecosystem has included:
a) Virtual workshops for training partners over the implementation;
b) Best practice sharing to summarize learning as trainings happened to be used in subsequent interventions;
c) An online community of practice to provide training partners a common location to discuss various aspects of the program or access key documents.
A key element of this program is to develop strategies for sustaining and scaling up the Programming for the Future model both locally and for further expansion of the program. Scaling up and sustainability strategies were determined through the Accenture pro bono project team working together with EFE and local countries and taking into account the proof of concepts previously mentioned that were included in Spain, South Africa and Morocco trainings.
Pathways that were explored in the strategy work include:
1) How an expansion of the Programming for the Future model could be financed by a mix of stakeholders who have a special interest in workforce training in the IT area;
2) Whether different educational backgrounds among the disadvantaged population could benefit from this training and increase impact in a way that maintains the focus on disadvantaged youth, but also provides a more cost efficient approach to training outcomes; and
3) Whether efficiencies may be made in the number of training hours, the mix of skills included in the training program, and the way in which the training is delivered using digital or online eLearning.