Generation Italy: Building a digital skills bridge between companies and young people.

 

Companies have vacancies that need filling. Young people are struggling to find jobs. Generation Italy is on a mission to connect these dots.

Currently, Italy faces a conundrum when it comes to youth unemployment. More than a million young people struggle to find jobs, despite there being over 600,000 vacancies considered hard to fill by companies. ‘There’s a huge skills mis-match,’ explains Oscar Pasquali, CEO at Generation Italy, ‘resulting in a situation that isn’t working well for anyone. Our ambition is to address one of the biggest employment challenges Italy is facing; how to ensure young people are equipped with the digital skill sets that companies need to fill these positions.’

Founded in the US by McKinsey & Company in 2014, Generation is an independent nonprofit organisation that has helped tens of thousands of people around the world find jobs. As part of its global expansion, the Italian foundation opened in 2018.

Oscar continues: ‘Our objective is to place people in long-term employment, so we begin by analysing what the market needs, which skills are missing and what companies look for in their successful candidates. We feed all that learning into our professional bootcamps, which are intensive, experiential and replicate the working day.

‘Our candidates are between 18 and 29 years old, from any background. All we ask is that they’re motivated and have the right attitude, which we assess via a combination of online tests and one-to-one interviews. Training includes a combination of theory and application and, afterwards, we guarantee at least one interview with a hiring company - we don’t start a programme unless we know there are jobs at the end. Of course, we’re completely transparent with our learners that an interview doesn’t constitute an offer, but our bootcamps teach soft and behavioural skills as well as technical, so our rates of successful placements are high. And, most importantly, we offer all this at no cost to young people.’

 
 
"Our ambition is to address one of the biggest employment challenges Italy is facing - how to ensure young people have the digital skill sets that companies need."
Oscar Pasquali
CEO
Generation Italy
 
 
 

Digital Talent Factory with Luciana Rorato

Trailblazer Luciana Rorato tells her story of how being made redundant from her job as an air stewardess led to Salesforce success with Generation Italy.
 
 
 

1. Trailhead + Generation = Success.

Aware that digital skills were already highly in-demand and set to become more so, Generation began offering Salesforce’s Trailhead Academy expert-led Software Developer courses in Platform Development and App Builder in April 2021.

‘We’ve combined the training potential of the Trailhead Academy courses and Trailhead, Salesforce’s online learning platform, with the Generation methodology and created one of our most popular courses. It’s also one of the most successful in terms of placement rates – over 80% of learners are in employment within 90 days.

‘Learners commit to a 14 week bootcamp delivered by Salesforce Certified Generation Instructors, and discover the conceptual and operational tools needed to develop solutions on the platform. On completion, they’re provided with vouchers for certification, something we highly encourage. We’ve found this is really appreciated by hiring companies, who are then introduced to a pipeline of highly motivated talent with tangible credentials, hands-on experience and exactly the skill set they’re looking for.’

Surprisingly, Generation’s biggest challenge isn’t finding enough vacancies, it’s finding enough candidates. ‘We know many young people discount this type of career because they think they don’t have the right background, but we look at potential and aptitude, not specific previous knowledge. Our focus is on making programmes accessible to diverse candidates. 75% of our learners don’t have a university degree - 5% don’t even have a high school degree - and those that do graduated in a range of subjects, from biotech to humanities. We’ve noticed that digital programmes can be less enticing to women so we’ve got further to go before we reach gender parity on our programmes, and this is a focus area for us. But 25% of new starters are referred by former learners which is an endorsement we’re proud of.’

 
 

2. Introducing Trailblazer Luciana Rorato.

One such learner is Luciana Rorato, based in Milan. She was working as an air stewardess when Covid hit. ‘I was made redundant and wasn’t sure what to do next, so when a friend mentioned free training opportunities for young, unemployed people I was curious. I researched Generation and a bell rang in my head when I read about Salesforce, because I saw similarities with my previous job. The parallels might not sound immediately obvious but CRM is all about building relationships, which is what I loved about being a flight attendant.

‘I decided to apply and discovered that it suited me well. Generation instructors are very supportive and my colleagues came from different backgrounds, so it was fun working as part of a team. Using Trailhead to learn how Salesforce works was key. It gives you an overview of everything you need to know. You can read things step-by-step, but it also gives you the opportunity to practise, which is essential. I’ve found earning badges very motivating. So far, I’ve taken 95, plus 4 Superbadges, and I’m almost a Trailhead Ranger (the highest rank a Trailblazer can achieve).’

At the end of her training, Luciana was offered an interview with Italgas, one of the top employers in Italy. ‘I’m now on a six month traineeship and hope to stay at Italgas permanently. Thanks to Generation and Trailhead, I’ve learnt a lot and totally changed career. I never imagined this route, but I’m excited to keep challenging myself. There’s a whole new digital world out there to discover!’.

 
 

100%

cost free to young,
unemployed learners

 

Training is offered at no cost to learners, and a job interview is guaranteed.

 

3. Connecting the dots.

Research shows that, in Italy, more than 20,000 jobs will be created by the Salesforce ecosystem by 2024. So, when it comes to the future, Generation’s goals are clear. Oscar comments: ‘We want to leverage this growth by delivering other key programmes, growing our candidate numbers and helping more young people launch their careers. ‘We’re still a start-up, but we’re very ambitious and we know there’s a real need for what we offer to solve the current skills mis-match. At the moment, there is little common ground between companies with specific vacancies and young people with the right combination of knowledge, skills and hands-on experience. We’re creating a bridge between these two sides so that the dots are connected.’
 
"There’s a whole new digital world out there to discover!"
Luciana Rorato
Executive Vice President
in charge of Digital & Information Systems
 
 

For more information, visit Generation.

 

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