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Polish chapter was launched in the presence of EU Commissioner Vladimir Spidla

July 21, 2009

Foundation Supporting Physically Disabled Mathematicians and IT Specialists, Microsoft, Randstad, State Street, Cisco and CompTIA’s Creating Futures Foundation joined forces in the European Alliance on Skills for Employability. A Polish edition of the European initiative was officially announced in the presence of Vladimir Spidla, EU Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. During today’s conference organized by the Employers Association Lewiatan, representatives of public administration, employers association, non-governmental organizations and business sector discussed on effective forms of education and vocational reinsertion at times of economic crisis.


The conference “PROPraca Employability Alliance - Educational and vocational reinsertion initiatives at the level of Local and Regional Governments – an opportunity to survive the economic downturn” has taken place in the Headquarters of the Lewiatan - Polish Confederation of Private Employers in Warsaw. A Special Guest of the event was Vladimir Spidla, EU Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, who strongly supports idea of the European Alliance on Skills for Employability.

“In times of economic crisis like this, employers, employees and politics need to work together closely to find ways out. Initiatives such as the European Alliance on Skills for Employability are very precious, especially when they provide – as in this case - what economy needs. Even though, for the last twenty five years Poland has gone through an important phase of growth and development, still significant number of Polish citizens does not have even basic e-Skills. I am therefore convinced that this initiative will help Poland to soon catch up with other European countries in the level of IT knowledge.“ Vladimir Spidla, European Commission, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

The European Alliance on Skills for Employability was launched in 2006 in Lisbon by Cisco, CompTIA, ECDL, EXIN, Microsoft, Randstad and State Street to address the current shortfall in e-skills training in the business sector by making available the resources and expertise necessary to promote real valued and certified skills demanded by employers in the knowledge-based society.
The European Employability Alliance runs its activities through several national coalitions (Alliance chapters) each of which is composed of ICT industry partners, NGOs and employment stakeholders working together to enhance employability through eSkills provision. Chapters already exist in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the UK, France and Hungary.

"It is both a social and economic imperative of these times to see the European Alliance on Skills for Employability launch today in Poland. For employees and entrepreneurs alike, e-skills are the ones that decide of people's employability. In today's economy, the readiness to constantly develop one's competencies together with the level of e-skills, are the most important indicators of an employee's value. Even more, when the global economy is slowing down, we should expect from national and regional governments a solid commitment to co-invest in skills' training and education. Private companies continue to be involved in that process but deeper partnerships are needed to cope with the current challenge. We need people not only to retain their current jobs but also to gain new qualifications and be able to create new jobs in the future.” Elena Bonfiglioli, Director of Corp. Citizenship, Microsoft

Today’s conference starts the new chapter of the Alliance on Skills for Employability program in Poland. Foundation for Support for Mathematicians and IT Specialists with Reduced Mobility, Microsoft, Randstad, Cisco, State Street and CompTIA’s Creating Futures Foundation have decided to join forces to align and develop project activities to enhance eSkills and employability.

Special emphasis is placed on combating the phenomenon of information and social exclusion, as well as supporting most vulnerable groups: disabled persons, the elderly outside the labour market, inhabitants of rural areas with poorly developed IT infrastructure, young unemployed, unemployed women or women re-entering the labour market. The Alliance will also target the needs of small and medium businesses and IT practitioners to help increase the competitive advantage of the Polish economy.

The Polish chapter aims to implement the e-Centres Project, within which the existing 400 Distance Learning Centres (DLCs) and 3000 Public Internet Access Points (PIAPs) are used in order to support and develop modern type personnel through education about new technologies and through stimulation of entrepreneurship.

Microsoft, State Street, Cisco, Randstad and CompTIA joined forces to support the Foundation with a wide range of donations (cash, software, and professional expertise) to promote and upscale the e-skills training programs in the Distance Learning Centres and in Public Internet Access Points.

“I am glad that such an important initiative as the European Alliance on Skills for Employability was launched today in Poland. This wide and complex partnership between different partners will support our activities focused on employability and enable people an access to the knowledge, professional qualifications and e-skills” – says Bartosz Mioduszewski, president of the Foundation for Support for Mathematicians and IT Specialists with Reduced Mobility.

The Foundation Supporting Physically Disabled Mathematicians and IT Specialists is the strategic social partner of the Alliance and will ensure the overall management of the project.
Microsoft is providing a large grant of supporting the development of e-learning centres infrastructure. It also provides software and digital literacy curriculum to be part of the educational platform deployed at e-learning centres.
State Street, in addition to a donation, is translating the IT-Fitness test into Polish. The IT-Fitness initiative was launched in 2007 in Germany to offer free tests to evaluate e-skills and has already reached 1 million people.
Randstad provides assessment of labor market needs, utilizing its labor market expertise and knowledge in order to deliver training on how candidates should prepare for job search.
Cisco will support the e-Centres project by extending its Cisco Networking Academy and Cisco Entrepreneur Institute programs to these centers, including e-learning content and tutors training. Cisco Networking Academy and Cisco Entrepreneur Institute are innovative education initiatives that deliver information and communication technology skills and entrepreneurial competence to improve career and economic opportunities. Both programs offer localized, Polish language curricula.
CompTIA is supporting a pilot project of its ”Creating Futures” programme (www.creatingfutures.us/creating_futures.aspx), consisting in its first phase of supporting of 12 individuals from underprivileged social groups to, train for European Computer Driving Licence certifications, followed by internships and possibly employment entry-level opportunities agreed with local employers. In addition, CompTIA offers to the e-Centres project 12 free bundles of CompTIA Strata Certificate.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

State Street is the world's leading provider of financial services to institutional investors including investment servicing, investment management and investment research and trading. With $11.3 trillion in assets under custody and $1.4 trillion in assets under management (as of March 31, 2008), State Street operates in 27 countries and more than 100 geographic markets worldwide.

PR Contacts
Secretariat of the European Alliance on Skills for Employability
E-mail: secretariat@employabilityalliance.eu