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Our project #EmpleandoDigital winner of the 2019 Vocational Education and Training (VET) Excellence Awards [editar]

Carried out by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano and the Spanish Red Cross, with the support of Fundación Accenture

18/10/2019
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Our project #EmpleandoDigital winner of the 2019 Vocational Education and Training (VET) Excellence Awards

The award ceremony of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Excellence Awards of the European Social Fund (ESF) took place on 17 October in Helsinki.

The award ceremony of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Excellence Awards of the European Social Fund (ESF) took place on 17 October in Helsinki, under the Finnish Presidency of the European Union. The Awards, handed over by the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, highlight best practice and recognise excellence in VET all over Europe under four categories: companies and learners, VET innovators, European Funding for Excellence and European Agencies.

The #EmpleandoDigital (#EmployingDigital) project, carried out by the Fundacion Secretariado Gitano and the Spanish Red Cross and cofunded by the Fundación Accenture and the Spanish European Social Fund (Spanish Ministry of Labour, Migrations and Social Security- ESF Managing Authority) has won the ‘European Social Fund’ award under the ‘European Funding for Excellence’ category. This award aims to give visibility to excellent initiatives and practices in the area of education and training in initial VET as well as in continuing VET, practices that offer the chance to acquire the skills to be more competitive in the labour market. This year’s award focuses on digitalisation and technological change.

The award winners were selected through a mix of votes from the jury, and the general public, both results weighting 50%.

The award to the #EmpleandoDigital was collected by Carmen Cárdenas of the Spanish Red Cross and Belén Sánchez-Rubio of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG), who stressed in her presentation that ‘bringing technology and digital skills to the most disadvantaged groups is essential to guarantee equal rights’.

This important award represents a great support to the work that both organisations have been carrying out with persons in situations of high vulnerability to reduce the inequalities and the digital gap. It is a recognition and support to a project that is innovative not only in terms of content but also in how it is being implemented, through a model of partnerships between two relevant social organisations and a big company of the technological sector such as Accenture. In fact, this project would not have been possible without the collaboration of Accenture, through its Foundation.  

The digital progress should not leave anybody behind and to this end, it is crucial to count on projects such as this one. These programmes guarantee the digital inclusion of the most disadvantaged groups in the labour market, such as the Roma population.

The recognition of the project by this award allows sharing a joint practice with other social organisations in Spain and Europe that are also immersed in the profound change that the labour market is experiencing and the resulting digital challenges and that need ideas on how to address them. It shows that with specific solutions, adapted to the situation of the different groups in situation of social exclusion or vulnerability, people who may a priori have fewer opportunities can also be included in the digitalised labour market. This helps breaking stereotypes about vulnerable people and their presence in the labour market and reducing the digital gap. It also allows giving visibility to innovative experiences related to training and  qualifications beyond traditional training itineraries, sharing learnings with all of society (businesses, social organisations, professional associations...).

The Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) would like to extend its gratitude to the European Social Fund for this award, to the Fundación Accenture for the invaluable knowledge shared and its unconditional support, to all persons who voted for  #EmpleandoDigital and especially to the FSG professional teams and all the Roma women and me who have been involved in its development on a daily basis.

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