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Microsoft and State Street have started the Employability Alliance in 2007 in Luxembourg in partnership with the NGO Caritas. The focus of the employability initiative is to better address the socio-economic integration of underserved communities by providing basic ICT skills to public of all ages and condition on a local level.

The success of the project is based on the co-joint efforts from the founding members of the Alliance whereby funding was used to invest in Community-based Technology and Learning Centers (CTLCs) that are part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills Program. By the end of 2006, six Training Sites were in place, spread out across Luxembourg, offering access to full computer training and responding to a considerable demand.

Whilst the project is run and managed by Caritas, several other social agencies and organizations take part and provide their own clients for courses, to take advantage of access to the Cyber Spaces and use the equipment provided. The client group catered for is very wide, with the shared profile of possessing very modest means. Accordingly the partnership offers free courses and we also allow use of the computer equipment with free access, with extra support if required available onsite.

A pool of trainers, coordinators and mentors support both the physical training and the maintenance of facilities, and also the free-access slots for internet access, to afford support and guidance for those involved at every level.

The employability initiative in Luxembourg committed to raise the level of training!

The project is now to be expanded due to its success and will continue to build upon and scale up the support to the above target groups. In 2008 the Alliance on Skills for Employability in Luxembourg has reached out 565 participants, that have been formally trained in IT, and has made an impact on 2.943 people, that have afforded access on a more ad-lib basis for internet usage.

As a result, basic ICT skills are provided to undeserved communities including:

  • youngsters: who have failed at school or dropped out at a basic level and are placed in apprenticeship situations
  • long-tem unemployed: for whom this is a major step in rehabilitation
  • people with a supported employment placement; who require further IT skills to increase their private-sector employability
  • asylum seekers; who may also be refugees, of whom the majority will be from countries just on the threshold of economic development and who have no previous access experience
  • mothers at home; who feel themselves disadvantaged, noting the vital part IT plays in their
  • children’s' development, from which they are excluded
  • people suffering from certain handicaps
  • mental health issues
  • marginalized individuals
  • homeless
  • people in employment; that require IT skills at a more advanced age


The trainings afford each participant a significant feeling of self-worth. The Alliance not only provides regular courses but also give a structure to their day to day life, and the initiative also ensures there is the added a social dimension to complement the hard skills. Different social groups are fully integrated, and in the learning space coffee and snacks are offered. All this encourage a constructive dialogue, which is so often a missing factor in the lives of just such a marginalized client groups.

The follow-up work ensures that participants are encouraged to get involved in further programs which will stretch them and broaden their skills base. At each step, a signed Diploma inscribed with the participant's name is presented in a little ceremony; this marks the accomplishment of objectively-agreed skills and represents an important milestone for each individual.


"I consider Microsoft & State Street to be good citizens in Luxembourg through their support of Caritas and helping to bridge the digital divide"

Francois Biltgen, Minister of Labor, High Education and Research


The partners in Luxemburg Ranstad Interim, State Street Bank and Microsoft work alongside Caritas, as agreed in the Microsoft Partnership UP.

  • Microsoft
  • State Street
  • NGO Caritas


Microsoft   State Street Caritas