BeCode: Training vulnerable job seekers to the digital jobs of tomorrow

June 24, 2020

Project details

BeCode aims to tackle the digital skill gap and unemployment issue all at once. By offering intensive digital training to vulnerable populations, this Belgian NGO already managed to put 65% of its trainees back to work. From 2020 to 2025, BeCode will receive financing through a Social Impact Bond structured by KOIS. Actiris, the Brussels Employment Agency, will act as the outcome funder. The funding will support the training an additional 450 beneficiaries, with a focus on non-EU immigrants and women.

Tackling the skill gap & unemployment issue all at once

The Belgian job market is facing a shortage of digital skilled workers, which is set to grow. In 2030, at least 15.000 software developers & IT consultants positions will be vacant if no measures are taken. At the same time, 90.000 people were jobless in Brussels in January 2019, 19% of those being non-EU citizens. In addition to the socio-economic issues experienced by job seekers, this situation has a significant cost for public finances.

The digital training of job seekers is thus essential to tackle the skills gap and unemployment issue simultaneously. The IT sector is effectively well-suited for people remote from the job market: few technical prerequisites for interesting, stable & well-paid jobs.

Vacant IT positions in 2019

Unemployed people in Brussels in January 2019

BeCode: a training to provide vulnerable populations a way into the job market

Aware of this opportunity, BeCode developed a training & support centre aiming to ensure the entry of vulnerable populations in the job market. Candidates are selected based on their motivation only. They are then intensively trained for 7 months on programming skills and behavioural competencies. Inspired by Simplon.co in France, the BeCode method focuses on active pedagogies and field experience to prepare students for their future job. An employment mediator also brings them in contact with companies wanting to hire them for an internship and potentially, a long-term contract.

Terms of the bond

Launch

2020

Duration

5 years

Amount

€ 2.5M

Average annual return

2-6% IRR

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A proven method for success

Since its launch in 2017, BeCode has showed outstanding results with an employment rate close to 65%, largely beyond the average of 50% reached by the public body in charge of vocational training in Brussels.

BeCode has also proved its ability to reach vulnerable target groups: 75% of BeCode’s Brussels trainees are job seekers, 70% have at most a high school degree, 10% are non-EU immigrants and 22% are women, which is more than twice as much as the proportion of women usually observed in the IT sector in Belgium (10%).

Financing 450 more participants through a Social Impact Bond

Given the demonstrated capacity of BeCode to put vulnerable job seekers back to work, Actiris, decided to provide financial support for the training of 450 additional beneficiaries, using a SIB for the third time. The objective of the SIB will be to test the effectiveness of BeCode on an audience more strongly composed of women and non-EU immigrants,which have been identified as “priority” target groups by Actiris. Thanks to its strong training experience acquired over the past 2 years and a growing network of hiring companies – including in a COVID-19 context where digital competencies are more important than ever, BeCode is very confident that it will be able to meet the SIB’s objectives.

With a structuring in a record time of 2.5 months, the BeCode project is the proof that SIBs can be a powerful and efficient tool to leverage private funding for social projects in need of sustainable financing over several years

Pauline Vandeputte

Senior Analyst, KOIS Brussels

Expected Impact of the DIB

job seekers start the BeCode digital training, of which 135 women and 113 non- EU immigrants

trained job seekers have found a job within 12 months after their internship

Impact Story: Rawaldeep & Elisa

When I arrived in Belgium 3 years ago, I couldn’t find a job in IT because I didn’t master the right technologies. By following the BeCode training, I was able to learn the most recent programming languages and to build a strong network in the web development industry. All through a course that was adapted specifically to my learning needs. Today, I’m a web developper at PRiZM, a digital marketing agency

Rawaldeep, 26

Class of 2019

When I finished my bachelor in Political Sciences, I didn’t know what to do next and had no Masters yet. Through real-life situations with clients, group work, clear objectives to reach & issues to solve, BeCode offered me a comprehensive preparation for the reality of IT job market. After finishing my internship, I found a job directly. At first, I was IT project manager but now I am Product Owner; meaning I repesent the product that we are developing.

Elisa, 27

Class of 2018

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