The Deputy Mayor of Madrid, Begoña Villacís, the Delegate for Economy, Innovation and Employment, Miguel Ángel Redondo, and Noemí Sanín, President of the everis foundation, presented the "Municipal School of Digital Talent", an online training programme in the most popular programming languages that responds to two objectives: to provide Madrid companies with the qualified talent they require for their development and sustainability, and to provide tools that contribute to boosting employment in Madrid.
According to data from Madrid City Council, the number of unemployed people in Madrid has grown substantially in the last year and is set to become a structural problem in the coming years. Paradoxically, at the same time, a serious shortage of developers and programmers has been noted, threatening the growth potential of highly dynamic sectors that could be called upon to lead the city's economic growth in the coming years and to promote recovery by driving change towards new productive models.
Villacís explained "the importance of digitalisation, which has become a necessity after the arrival of the pandemic. The City Council has adapted and is also adapting the training and employment offer for the people of Madrid". She also highlighted the presence of Noemí Sanín, "an example for women, being the first presidential candidate in Latin America, minister of communications, ambassador... She is a woman who invites us to take advantage of opportunities and who serves as an example for us to set up this school of digital talent".
For her part, Noemí Sanín reiterated that "the success of this programme is that we commit ourselves and work together from academia, the public sector, private enterprise and the third sector. Thus, this initiative will contribute to connecting the supply and demand of employment, training qualified talent that will allow companies to focus on the digitalisation that today's world demands of us".
Intensive online training
The programme, which is being launched jointly by the Madrid Employment Agency, the Foro de Empresas por Madrid and the everis foundation, will last six months and will take the form of a bootcamp that will recreate the conditions of a first job or telework. It will be completely experiential, with learning based on challenges and collaborative work, and representatives of the most important companies in the sector will participate as coaches and mentors, who will also be potential employers of the participants.
The training is aimed at a wide range of people with no prior knowledge of programming, highly motivated and disciplined individuals, freelancers and professionals who need digital skills to boost their businesses and people looking for retraining or initial employability-oriented studies.
According to the delegate for Economy, Innovation and Employment, Miguel Ángel Redondo, "one of the keys to success lies in the appropriate selection of participants", which is why special attention will be paid and special attention will be given to "those candidates whose initial characteristics augur a better use of the training".
Self-learning and self-assessment
During the training, each student will have to overcome 24 challenges in 24 weeks and doing so will depend on their own effort. To achieve this, they will be supported by a team of mentors and coaches who will also act as potential employers as representatives of various companies seeking employment in these fields.
The thematic modules will be developed in Cybersecurity and Python, one of the most widely used languages by data scientists. At the end of the training, participants will be able to perform basic tasks in these two areas.
Phases and dates
Work is currently underway to launch a pilot project with 60 students to serve as a reference for the subsequent development of the programme. This initial phase will allow validating the approach and anticipating possible problems that may arise during the course and subsequent recruitment by Madrid companies.
The project envisages three phases: a first selection phase, scheduled for autumn 2021, open to anyone who wishes to participate and which will allow an appropriate selection of the 60 students who will be trained in the pilot; a second phase, scheduled for the first half of 2022, which will be the Python programming course for cybersecurity and Big Data, which will be attended by the students selected from the previous phase; and a third phase for evaluation and employability, scheduled for the third quarter of 2022.