A free program aimed at training refugees and asylum seekers as well as Italians in economic difficulty to become programers has come to Rome, following a successful run in the UK. The six-month coding course, "Code Your Future," begins with an app and a smartphone to help students as they start orienting themselves within the world of technology.
German Bencci, founder of Code Your Future, said many migrants and refugees have experienced interruptions in their studies and challenges to integration and are seeking new learning opportunities. "We want to provide them with skills that lead to new professional careers rather than occasional work. The new digital professions are meritocratic and borderless, so anyone from any socio-cultural background can have the same opportunities," Bencci said.
Support for the most disadvantaged
The non-profit organization Code Your Future was founded in London in 2016. It has had encouraging results thus far, with 70 percent of participants having found a new occupation, including in companies such as Live Nation and the BBC. In Italy, the initiative is supported by LVenture Group, the holding company listed on the Italian Equities Market (MTA) that invests in digital startups.
LVenture Group's CEO Luigi Capello said the company wants to support people who come from a disadvantaged situation to acquire digital skills essential in today's job market. "Code Your Future can be a great occasion for our startups, who are constantly looking for new talent," Capello added.
Lessons start in May
The application process for the program opened on March 7, and lessons are set to begin on May 4. Hannah Roberts, the coordinator for Code Your Future in Italy, said lessons will take place in English with specialised Italian instructors.
"There's no age limit, participants' metro tickets for transportation will be paid for, as well as a babysitter if they need it," Roberts said. The lessons will take place at the Hub of LVenture Group and Luiss Enlabs, at Rome's Termini Station. Following the UK and Italian versions of the program, Roberts said the initiative will expand to other countries "by the end of the year."