At least! A free training for Women in the digital area! Offered by the Foundation for Digital Inclusion (FDI) in partnership with Womenpreneur-Initiative(1), this training provided by the “Digital School for Women” aims to teach young women (18 – 35 years old) how to repair and recondition all kinds of smartphones and tablets. For 4 months, a small group of women will follow this training to open new opportunities in an increasingly digitalized world. This initiative is important because the digital sector must face environmental problems such as waste management and the overproduction of electronic devices.
The Digital School for Women was born because the digital sector is promising: 53% of digital companies in Wallonia planned to hire in 2020. The hardware professions, which include the repair and reconditioning of small electronic devices, have a particularly bright future: 73% of the Belgian population uses a smartphone and one Belgian in three has a phone they no longer use.
Moreover, investing in training for women is necessary because women are almost absent from the digital sector. In 2016, according to a report by Opiiec(2), only one in five employees working in a digital production job is a woman. In the digital era, this absence can be a danger for women’s professional autonomy, as the Digital Agency(3) of Wallonie says:
“There are too few women talent in the digital sector. This means that women could eventually be excluded from the opportunities of the digital society”.
However, women are perfectly capable of working in digital professions. Thus, training in repair and reconditioning will enable them to acquire professional skills and confidence to enter in this digital labour market.
Finally, there are a lot of difficulties in accessing this type of training (€1,690 per week to become a smartphone and tablet repair technician) and even a lack of training possibilities. That is why the IDF and Womenpreneur-Initiative’s project is important. Indeed, it constitutes a response to the digital divide. More precisely, by giving women access to sectors that are mostly occupied by men and by recognising their skills that are often denied, the Digital School for Women contributes to equal access for all to digital professions.
The training is entirely free and offered twice per year (from 10 February to 7 July and from 14 July to 15 December). During one cycle, the women will learn to understand, diagnose, and repair most of the smartphone and tablet breakdowns on the market.
Concretely, the learners will have to be present one day a week to attend a morning of theoretical classes and an afternoon of practical classes. In addition, bi-monthly professional workshops will be organised to support the participants in their job search or business creation. Finally, a one-week internship per person will be carried out to complete the training in a company dedicated to the reconditioning of digital tools: the aSmartWorld(4) company.
This training is given by Aline, initially a social worker, who retrained herself into a repair and reconditioning of smartphones and tablets technician. Thanks to a traineeship with a professional and online training, Aline is fully competent to ensure this course. Aline has always been passionate about repairing and wants to pass her passion to many other women.
At the end of their training, the learners will receive a certificate of achievement from the IDF Digital School for Women and Womenpreneur-Initiative. This certificate testifies their learning and digital skills. It also helps their professional integration by supporting their hiring or even the creation of their company!
This training could not exist without the financial and material support of the Brussels-Capital Region, Brussels Economy and Employment, the company aSmartWorld, BECI and Bruxelles Formation. Many thanks to them!
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