Utrecht focuses on IT jobs by opening TechGrounds Overvecht

TechGrounds opens a new location in the Utrecht district of Overvecht. It is the fourth physical location of the now national initiative that sets up 'tech hubs' in neighborhoods and activates hidden IT talent. After previous successful locations in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, Zuidoost and Rotterdam Zuid, TechGrounds is now going to make tech training and jobs accessible to hidden talents in the Utrecht neighborhood of Overvecht, in collaboration with Capgemini, AWS re/Start, Salesforce, UTC, UWV and the municipality of Utrecht.

In recent months, the Overvecht neighborhood has become acquainted with TechGrounds and the first group of twelve participants will complete the training to become a ‘cloud engineer’ this month. After the start-up phase in the past few months at the Utrecht Overvecht neighborhood, TechGrounds wants to train 75 people every year, offering them a job guarantee. To this end, dedicated classes have been set up in collaboration with local partners Capgemini, AWS re/Start, Salesforce, UTC, UWV and the municipality of Utrecht. Participants are trained based on the direct needs of the business community.

As in the other locations, the Utrecht Overvecht location focuses on women (+50%), cultural diversity and in particular people who are currently unemployed or in unsustainable jobs. “There is a lot of demand for employees in IT. As we invest in Overvecht with TechGrounds, we expect many job seekers from the neighborhood will find a sustainable job in this promising sector,” said alderwoman Linda Voortman (Work and Income).

“After our successful launch at multiple locations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, we are delighted to land in Utrecht with existing and new partners. Together with the Utrecht Tech Community, we will train job seekers based on the needs of the business community that is looking for talent. There are many parties in and around Utrecht who support us with knowledge, network and start-up capital and we are proudly looking forward to the first batch of ‘TechGrounders’ that are guaranteed to find their way within the affiliated companies”, says Abdessamad Dari, managing director TechGrounds Utrecht.

Renewed training offer

In Utrecht, TechGrounds is introducing a new training program called ‘TechSupport’. This learn-work trajectory trains hidden talents to become IT helpdesk employees in four weeks. They would start at post-secondary vocational level. After four weeks, participants will start working for four days and return to TechGrounds one day a week for upskilling and coaching. After six months, they’ll have completed the entire process and will start working full-time with their employer.

“TechGrounds is growing. In the number of locations, partners and different training courses, but also in the number of participants who find a job in tech. Our free training program, with no required previous education, has evolved into a training that fits seamlessly with the needs of the business. Where we previously just actively matched participants to companies, we now train participants directly for an open role at an affiliated organization via dedicated classes. Our partners thus actively tackle the shortage of tech talent and at the same time contribute to equality of opportunity in tech”, says Saskia Verstege, managing director at TechGrounds.

Growing number of partners look at talent differently

By looking at talent differently, TechGrounds, together with the Utrecht partners, but also with Randstad, MediaMonks, Deloitte, KPN, Rabobank, Technicom and Hema, for example, wants to tackle the increasing shortages in the IT labor market. Where until recently candidates on the basis of a CV were rejected due to lack of experience or specific skills, more and more partners are now looking at talent and learning ability. “Participants develop on a technical level, but especially on a personal level. It’s nice to see that confidence to participate in the job market is growing day by day, said Sebnem Ozec, Corporate Recruiter at Capgemini Financial Services.

TechGrounds Group dives into Dutch neighborhoods

In coming years TechGrounds aims to expand to six locations. Almere and Eindhoven are at the top of the list. From 2023, 250 people must be guaranteed to enter a tech job in the corporate world from the TechGrounds trajectory every year. The rapid growth of TechGrounds is partly due to the ever-increasing demand for IT talent and the willingness to collaborate from the business community, which is increasingly aware of diversity and inclusion. In the aim of solving the IT job market mismatch, TechGrounds has joined forces with TekkieWorden, the Netherlands’ largest guide to studying and working in IT. Together they offer the complete process from getting to know all IT domains & IT trainers, to training and a job in IT.

About TechGrounds

TechGrounds solves the mismatch in the IT labor market by activating hidden talent from the neighborhoods and communities to IT. With a specific focus on women and cultural diversity, so that tech belongs to everyone. TechGrounds offers short-term IT courses with a job guarantee, in which unused talents are trained towards ‘AWS/ Azure Cloud’, ‘Salesforce consultant/ developer or ‘Web development’. TechGrounds is an initiative of TechConnect, originating from the Amsterdam Economic Board and MolenGeek in Brussels. TechGrounds Utrecht has the support of Capgemini, UTC, UWV, Booking.com, Rabobank, TomTom, JPMorgan, training fund CA-ICT, the municipality of Utrecht, European Union and collaborates with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Salesforce, Nextview, Sentia, HEMA, PostNL, Randstad and many other partners. For more information, visit: www.techgrounds.nl.

16 December 2021

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