A person is learning to code on a large computer screen.
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Free digital skills course for refugees now taking applications

9 Mar 2021

This year’s Level Up programme will help 18 refugees and asylum seekers become software developers or digital marketing professionals.

Hays’ Steve Weston recently explained why coding is a skill for everyone, not just “techies or mathematicians”, and one initiative is looking to help refugees and asylum seekers train for tech careers in the European jobs market.

Cork-based tech consultancy Zartis is working with the Code Institute and the Digital Marketing Institute on the Level Up programme. It aims to provide European-based refugees and asylum seekers with free e-learning, mentoring, career advice and introductions to potential employers.

Now in its third year, Level Up is giving 18 people the chance to reskill for roles as full-stack developers or digital marketing professionals. The programme has already supported 22 refugees and placed them in tech roles with employers including HubSpot and Ericsson.

What to expect from Level Up

Level Up’s software development course is open to people with no coding knowledge or experience.

“The course starts from the very basics and keeps adding on as [participants] progress through modules,” Zartis marketing and CSR lead Adnan Tuccar told Siliconrepublic.com. “We have had many successful alumni who finished the course without prior knowledge. We are looking for the potential to follow such online courses and for dedication to finish the course.”

These modules are delivered through Code Institute’s edtech system that, according to CEO Jim Cassidy, allows for a “personalised learning journey that is flexible, job-focused and university-recognised”.

“We were delighted to extend our partnership with Zartis and the Level Up initiative,” Cassidy said. “Code Institute’s mission is to improve lives through accessible, jobs-focused education. We help refugees gain the necessary skills to enter the tech sector and help them find a job.”

The Digital Marketing Institute brings its Pro course to the table, which gives participants practical knowledge and skills and is delivered entirely online through video lectures and practical exercises.

Learners can also avail of a Digital Marketing Institute membership, helping them network with its wider community.

Why apply?

“Asylum seekers and refugees get limited opportunities to upskill and get into the highly skilled job market, so we wanted to offer courses and connections from our own network to help facilitate their transition to more stable lives,” Tuccar said.

“I would urge people to apply if they are seeking a career in IT or digital marketing. These are industry-level courses and we have had alumni who were hired by major names.”

Syed Rizvi, a Level Up alumnus who is now working as a software engineer at Ericsson in Ireland, said the course helped him gain an understanding of Python.

“The team at Ericsson uses Python and I had no experience in Python before Level Up,” he added. “I think Level Up definitely helped me get this job and will help me in my future career as well.”

Applicants need to complete Code Institute’s free five-day coding challenge or a digital diagnostic exercise from the Digital Marketing Institute when applying to Level Up. To learn more, visit the webpage here.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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