PH International

Computer Skills – is a key factor of economic and social development of Ukraine

Ukraine | YouthSpark Ukraine | 15 May 2009


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The round table dedicated to the role of computer literacy for the successful job placements in the period of economic changes was organized in Kyiv.

Microsoft Ukraine and American non-profit organization PH International in the context of the project “IDEA – Information Dissemination and Equal Access” organized on May 13 the round table on the topic “Overcoming the problems of job placements using the computer skills”.
Economic recession has radically changed the situation on the job market and the quantity of registered unemployed people in Ukraine increased during the last months to the highest showing for the last 17 years. And this is not counting those in no-charge vacations or part-time employees. Also the amount of vacancies significantly decreased and the employers’ requirements regarding the professional skills, work experience and additional skills. “Crisis removed some personnel and gave the opportunity to see our employees as “universal soldiers” who has to have comprehensive skills by default, including computer skills”, - says Tamara Pereskokova, HR Director, “Slobozhanska Stroitelna Keramika”.

According to Natalya Shevchenko, the deputy head of the department of organization of social services under the State Employment Services Centre, there is a real necessity in professionals who possesses new information technology skills and can effectively use them in everyday work. “Computer skills increase the demand for employees and also increase the mobility of people on the modern job market. In 2008 we have conducted about 9,000 seminars in regional employment centres, where over 100,000 people took part. This year we plan to increase this numbers,” – says Natalya Shevchenko.

Nevertheless 648 state regional employment centres, where the computer courses where conducted, can’t provide seminars to all who wants to participate. Often the possibility to participate in such courses is provided to those who can show the confirmation from employer about the guaranteed job placement after the completion of studies. Formal academic education can’t provide the updated and modern IT skills and therefore can’t be fully in line with nowadays job market requirements. Young specialists do not have necessary practical skills and have to additionally increase their professional level. “It is assumed by default that young people know how to use computers. But a lot of them have only some theoretical knowledge and lack practical skills”, - says Atrur Kocharyan, the coordinator of Konotop IDEA Center. As a result, the increase of computer literacy among people became the problem that has to be resolved urgently and every stakeholder – state, business and communities - has to participate in it.

That is why the “IDEA – Information Dissemination and Equal Access” Project is realized in Ukraine by PH International in the context of Microsoft Program “Unlimited Potential”. Project includes 13 Educational Centers in different regions of Ukraine and has a goal of conducting IT trainings and computer skills seminars. This gives the opportunity to local citizens to gain new knowledge and, as a result, increase their live conditions.

First of all, the project is oriented for those who are in difficult social and economic situations – unemployed, low-income families, people with disabilities, victims of trafficking, senior people and socially un-adapted youth. “Today over 10,000 people completed courses and seminars at the IDEA Centers. And over 40% of them could keep their jobs, get additional earnings or improve working conditions, got better job positions, changed work or even started their own small businesses,”- says Yana Kurchenko, Director of IDEA in Ukraine.

“Such centres like IDEA are playing a significant role for the economic and social development of Ukraine. But Ukraine needs mass effect, and our goal should be an increase of the IT penetration level to the 45-50%. The increase in general numbers of people to have IT skills will make not only Ukraine in general compatible but will help to change the situation in regions for the better,” – stated Mykola Mykhailov, General Director of Internet portal Rabota.ua.

Participants of the round table noted the key role of computer literacy of citizens for the economic and social development of the society in general.

According to the research “Information and communication technologies as a catalyst of the development during recession” conducted by World Economic Forum, countries with the most strong and stable economies are the states where the level of computer literacy and innovation implementations is high. Ukraine is currently on the 62nd place by IT penetration into the infrastructure solutions, business and structures, and such countries as Denmark and Sweden are far ahead of Ukraine.

“If we are not creating the conditions now for the increase of computer literacy of citizens, and first of all – our children, we have a risk in 15-20 years stay on the same IT level as now, and Ukraine won’t be competitive on the international market at all,” – noted Vladymyr Chaykovskiy, Microsoft Ukraine.

Researches made by Gartner, Inc. show that computer knowledge is the key condition of competitive economy, and its’ absence makes priceless the investments into the infrastructure and new technologies, and threatens the economic development of the country.

“It is possible to build the economy of knowledge only when the state, business and community organizations join for the increase of computer literacy of citizens. This will help to resolve the problem of unemployment during the economic decrease and will create the solid background for the building the innovative economy which opens new economic opportunities for Ukraine,”- summed up Dmytro Shymkiv, General Director of Microsoft Ukraine.
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