IBM announced that in cooperation with the City of Katowice, Samsung and Fujitsu Technology Solutions, the Educational Research Institute and under the honorary patronage of the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the Ministry of Digitization are launching an educational and professional development program P-TECH.
Poland joins 18 other countries
The main objective of P-TECH is to support local communities by adequately preparing young people to work in professions with IT specialties which, in addition to obtaining a secondary school diploma, require appropriate skills, but not necessarily several years of higher education.
Within the framework of the programme, during five years of schooling, students will obtain a baccalaureate and a diploma in Information Technology or Mechatronics Technology, broadening their knowledge under the supervision of their mentor and acquiring new skills. For example, students will follow the daily work of their mentor (job shadowing), get to know the business environment from within, or participate in paid internships.
The P-TECH programme has been implemented in cooperation with over 650 business partners in over 200 schools in 19 countries.
Reality of the labour market forces changes
“The key to the success of Poland’s plans to become a technological leader are the appropriate competences on the part of the entire society, both among employees of various sectors, scientific staff and, above all, among young people. Therefore, initiatives such as those aimed at young people are particularly welcome. Hence the involvement of the Ministry of Digitization in this project. It complements numerous activities aimed at strengthening digital competences which we undertake in the Ministry. These include such projects of my ministry as the clubs of the Young Programmer, the IT Championship Centre or the recently announced IT Talent Development Programme for the years 2019-2029. We must remember that it is young people who will decide about the economic success of the country” – says the Minister of Digitization, Marek Zagórski.
“P-TECH in cooperation with public administration and scientific institutions will help secondary school students to adapt to the new, dynamically changing realities of the labour market, strengthening the development of innovative economy in the region and preparing graduates for success in the workplace” – says Jarosław Szymczuk, General Director, IBM Poland and Baltic States.
“In the era of digital economy and Industry 4.0, the education of employees, including those who are just entering the labour market, is of great importance. That is why the proper quality of education and the development of skills and behaviours conducive to the emergence of innovative ideas and solutions are so important. An important element is cooperation with businesses, for example through programmes such as P-TECH. Students gain experience and are well prepared to perform their profession, even after school” – says Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology.
IT professions with the most promising prospects
“IT-related professions are considered by experts to be the most promising and, at the same time, one of the best paid. Taking into account the forecasts, in the future we will face a worldwide shortage of people educated in this field. The P-TECH program is thus an adequate response to the ever growing market demand for IT specialists, enabling young people to gain the necessary knowledge and experience already at the secondary school level, and in the future to gain a stable, well-paid and developmental job. This initiative, apart from a number of benefits it brings, is also another example of successful cooperation between business, science and local government” – says Marcin Krupa, Mayor of the City of Katowice.
“The P-TECH programme allows to adapt the educational programme to the changing trends in the labour market and the requirements of enterprises. Thanks to the cooperation with the school, we have an influence on the education programme. On the other hand, we guarantee the acquisition of knowledge and skills – technological and business, which are often lacking for people entering the labour market. Students have the opportunity to get to know the work environment, which consists of many aspects, including cooperation with Samsung specialists and the practical use of our latest technological solutions. P-Tech program is a great challenge for partners, but at the same time it allows to achieve a common goal, which is to strengthen the potential of students and increase their competitiveness on the labor market” – says Olgierd Bałtaki, HR Director of Samsung Electronics Manufacturing Poland.
“The spectrum of Fujitsu’s activities in Poland (Katowice, Łódź) is very wide. We plan to continue to develop each of our business lines. The most recent example is the Katowice branch – a year ago we started from the first line of customer support in various foreign languages, Remote Infrastructure Management and Service Management teams. Currently, our office employs specialists, engineers, programmers, consultants and analysts, providing global services. We are willing to engage in activities related to the education of young people and support them in the formation of their professional career paths. The P-TECH programme is a very valuable initiative in line with Fujitsu’s priorities and hence our active participation” – says Aleksandra Durzyńska-Prochowska, Operations Director of Katowice, Fujitsu.
250,000 programmers in Poland
In Poland, in the last quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate among graduates of vocational and post-secondary schools in the year after graduation amounted to 26.5%.
The research conducted by Stack Overflow for infoShare company shows that in 2017 there were over 250 thousand programmers working in Poland, 12% more than in the previous year. This number constitutes one fourth of the entire community of developers in Central and Eastern Europe and is higher than the corresponding figure in other countries of the region (Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia) by an average of 180 thousand specialists.
According to PMR’s estimates, the deficit of IT specialists in Poland amounts to slightly over 40 thousand, i.e. approximately 7% of all IT related positions. Graduates of IT faculties should be the natural solution to the problem of the shortage of IT specialists in the Polish IT sector. However, the indicated demand of the domestic market for IT specialists significantly exceeds the possibilities of its employee base. Universities in Poland cannot keep up with the education and launching the appropriate number of new professionals on the market. According to the estimated data of the Central Statistical Office, in 2017 75 thousand students were admitted to IT faculties, and over 13 thousand graduates graduated with an IT diploma. The scale of the problem is additionally intensified by the partial emigration of graduates abroad and the lack or insufficiently developed range of competences of new candidates on the market who are looking for a job in Poland.