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The IT-Fitness Initiative was set off by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in November 2006 as the German chapter of the European Alliance on Skills for Employability Initiative. The IT-Fitness aims to make four million people in Germany fit for dealing with the PC and internet by the end of 2010 by offering online test and free trainings. 

Over 1 million people took the IT-Fitness test !

The test is popular due to its easy access and fits for almost every target group. Nationwide PR-Campaign, series of roadshows and other events (like summer camp, classroom trainings) help to create more attention around the importance of ICT-skills and around the free online test. Throughout 2008 the content of the test was widened, for example new webcasts were developed to provide access to the skills for people with minimum IT knowledge. The test is available in German and the Turkish translation was released in December 2008. Further translations are in progress to extend the test for and replicate the success in the neighbouring countries.

Two initial projects were unveiled at the IT Fitness launch

  • Together with the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts, Microsoft has developed an online platform, on which 480,000 apprentices (one-third of all apprentices in Germany) can improve their IT skills.
  • Together with the Saxonian Technology Center Zwickau, Cisco and Microsoft will help disadvantaged young people to acquire essential IT knowledge.


The aims of IT Fitness are to

  • Strengthen public awareness of the need for IT skills to boost jobs and growth of the local economy.
  • Improve political and industry dedication towards investing in specific digital inclusion activities for disadvantaged target groups.
  • Provide self-testing and self-learning tools through a single portal posted online at
  • Facilitate access to the website for those who do not own a computer or do not have internet connectivity.
  • And Improve employability of individuals by delivering IT skills training and certification through existing programmes of IT Fitness partners such as the Microsoft IT Academy and Cisco Networking Academy that are not available in the traditional education system.


The IT Fitness initiative has developed into an open network of eight partners: Microsoft, State Street, Cisco, The German Association of the IT Industry (BITKOM), Deutsche Bahn AG, Signal Iduna, the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) and the German Federal Employment Agency.

  • Microsoft
  • Cisco
  • State Street Bank
  • Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien e.V. (BITKOM)
  • German Federal Employment Agency
  • Deutsche Bahn AG
  • German Confederation for Skilled Crafts (ZDH)

Microsoft Cisco   State Street BITKOM
Bundesagentur für Arbeit SIGNAL IDUNA Gruppe           Deutsche Bahn AG              Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks e.V. (ZDH)  


Quotation of beneficiaries

"Information technology is an important means of social integration. It creates opportunities to engage in skilled work for many different groups within the community, including the jobless, people with disabilities, and migrants. The economy and society in Germany and in Europe will benefit from it. IT Fitness makes the goals and vision of the European Alliance on CSR come alive, as concrete and measurable achievement."

Vladimir Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunity, March 2007

"Apprentices go online provides good online trainings which I can individually complete. I think that today, qualifications are the key to success ? additional IT knowledge allows me to positively rise above my job competitors."

Soeren Meissner, apprentice



IT-Bildungsnetz e. V.
Kurfürstendamm 22
10719 Berlin

Tobias Koeppel
Tel.:  +49-(0) 172 / 3 994 493

Vanessa Verstegen
Tel.: +49-(0) 173 / 9 183 679