28 vocational training centers supported by the Knowledge Based Economy Project joined the Digital Agenda | SIVECO Romania

28 vocational training centers supported by the Knowledge Based Economy Project joined the Digital Agenda

Thursday, May 20, 2010

28 new vocational training centers in the field of digital competencies were opened in rural communities. Thus, more than 10% of the Public Access Points to Information (PAPI) from the Knowledge Based Economy Project (KEP) are now considered as top providers for vocational training, making yet another step towards self-financing and a sustainable development of their communities. The 28 PAPI are located in the following counties: Alba, Bacău, Bihor, Dolj, Gorj, Mureş, Harghita, Sibiu, Suceava, Teleorman, Tulcea, Vâlcea, Vaslui, and Vrancea.

"It was absolutely necessary to provide further training facilities in the field of digital technology, after we organized a successful IT course as part of KEP, for 20 people from our community -teachers, entrepreneurs, public servants, etc." says Viorica Țîrdea, Manager of the Local Community Electronic Network (LCeN) in Beştepe, one of the poorest communities in Northern Dobrogea.

"This step is only the beginning of an ambitious process: in the future the consultant that helped these centers to receive the official recognition will continue to support them by providing training sessions for their personnel. Through these efforts we will assist communities to enhance their human capital, the most important element in achieving a sustainable local development", said Gabriel Sandu, Minister of Communications and Information Society.

The accreditation of these centers has been carried out under the "Training program for using computer and communications technology (ICT) with implementation in school and business in KEP communities". The project was implemented by a consortium that included SIVECO Romania and Training Center in Informatics.

The accreditation means, basically, entering into a privileged category, since across the country there are currently only a few dozens of such training providers, which were able to prove that they have, on one hand, the necessary logistical resources, and, on the other hand, qualified trainers in this domain.

One of the three main objectives of the future European Strategy for 2020 (Europe 2020) focuses on providing a sustainable growth. This objective is addressed to all EU Member States and aims at successfully engaging 75% of the active workforce through public policies. In this context, offering adults from rural areas the chance to acquire digital competences is necessary and represents a particular important step for Romania, made possible by the Knowledge Based Economy Project. By 2015, the majority of jobs, regardless their nature, will require computer knowledge and digital competencies or e-skills.

The certification as training centers for acquiring digital skills will give more people the chance to learn in their own rural digitally disadvantaged communities. After graduating these courses organized in the PAPI, the participants will receive a recognized training certificate that will help them find better jobs.

During the authorization process, the KEP project organized in 2009 free intensive courses for using ICT in school and business, in all the 255 communities that are part of the project. At the end of the courses more than 5,000 people received authorized certificates from CNFPA (The National Council for Adult Vocational Training). Addressed to all the members of the KEP communities, but especially to teachers, librarians, entrepreneurs and public servants, the courses were designed and customized using as basic indicators the socio-professional profile of the beneficiaries, their needs, the degree of knowledge regarding the use of computer and digital resources.

The extensive list of the 255 communities that are part of the Knowledge Based Economy Project is available on the www.ecomunitate.ro portal.

The Knowledge Based Economy is a strategic project for the knowledge society in Romania, conceived and carried out by the Ministry of Communications and Information Society. With a budget of 69.4 million USD, the project is addressed to rural areas and small towns (with less than 30,000 inhabitants), and is carried out in partnership with 255 municipalities, where there is no access to digital information and therefore no skills to use and exploit it.

By providing access to high-speed Internet connections, computers that are available to the general public and schools, as well as modern technology, the project's mission is to help the population of these communities (over 8% of the population of Romania) to find relevant information, to know how to use it smart in order to create knowledge, and improve their quality of life.

For more details, please visit www.ecomunitate.ro.