Thursday 5 December 2019

EU Digital Opportunity Traineeships: What are they and how can they help your business?

The race for talent has never been more competitive. As companies scramble to find qualified employees, it’s now tougher than ever to bridge the skills gap.

But there is a way that you can attract impressive, highly skilled candidates to your roles - an EU Digital Opportunity Traineeship.

What’s that, we hear you ask? Well, fear not because we have all the information that you need to know.

In a nutshell, Digital Opportunity Traineeships help companies -from startups to large corporations - to find motivated employees who want to develop and improve their digital skills. This pilot project has been launched by the European Commission.

Basically, they want to promote the development of digital skills through internships. These internships can focus on ‘deep-tech’ skills that more and more companies are now seeking, such as cybersecurity, big data, quantum or artificial intelligence, as well as digital marketing, software development or coding.

The pilot has been implemented through Erasmus+, and is based on the cross-border mobility of participants. The original objective was to reach 6,000 trainees by the end of 2020. But in November 2019, there were already over 7,200 young registered participants. To date, Siemens, Microsoft, Seat and many smaller tech businesses and startups have already benefited from this initiative. One such company is Whalebone.

Based in the Czech Republic, Whalebone is an IT company that specialises in IT security in the telecommunications sector. Earlier this year, they decided to undertake Digital Opportunity Traineeships in order to find ambitious candidates with strong digital skills.

When the company started offering these traineeships, they were surprised by the number of applications they received. This simplified the process of finding the perfect candidates.

“We offer two types of traineeships,” explains the company’s CEO, Richard Malovič. “The first one is more business-based, the second is IT-based. We got a large number of applications for both, so it was quite simple to find the candidates with the right skills. It was a very transparent process from posting the internship offer on the website to the onboarding of the trainees.

“For our IT programme, our requirements were quite specific: the candidates needed a good knowledge of specific programming languages or a proven dedication to IT security. For our business programme we looked for candidates with good command of English as we have a special training programme for them.”

The company was so happy with the performance of one of their trainees, Andronikos Kyriakou, that they offered him a full-time position within the company.

“Within the technical group one of our trainees showed great progress and we were very happy with the work he was doing for the company,” says Malovič. “He was already getting in touch with customers and helping them with queries.”

“A position became available in our company two to three months after he finished his internship and graduated from university. We immediately called him as we thought he would be a great fit.  After agreement with his family, he accepted our offer.”

This story highlights how Digital Opportunity Traineeships can benefit both businesses and young professionals. While Whalebone found a great new hire, their trainees also gained invaluable experiencein IT security and international business.

“It was a great offer,” explains Andronikos Kyriakou, who went through the IT-oriented internship at Whalebone and joined as technical consultant afterwards. “After serious consideration of this outstanding opportunity, as well as, resolving the challenges of moving abroad, I was thrilled to come back and join Whalebone again!”

Going forward, Whalebone hopes to welcome more digital opportunity trainees to their company. Malovič believes that is a great way to gain new perspectives and insights on their business while also providing trainees with an opportunity to develop their skillsets.

“We needed to open the company not just for couple of markets but for a structured international business approach. It was beneficial for everyone. Whalebone was very satisfied with their experience with the Digital Opportunity Traineeship and will most likely be using it next year as well.”

Create your traineeship and benefit from young European talents today.



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