Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

AUAS project ‘Make IT Work' gets spin-off in Utrecht

7 Nov 2016 14:41 | Communication

The successful retraining project ‘Make IT Work’ by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), in which Bachelor’s or Master’s graduates spend a year retraining as fully qualified ICT experts, is being followed up in Utrecht. HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht will launch its own ICT programme in February 2017, based on the ‘Make IT Work’ concept developed by the AUAS.

AUAS Rector Huib de Jong and Jan Bogerd, President of the Executive Board of the HU, have signed a cooperation agreement to this end. For project manager Ronald Kleijn of the AUAS, who has been involved in this retraining project from the start, this spin-off proves that ‘Make IT Work’ helps meet the great demand for highly trained ICT experts.


The AUAS launched ‘Make IT Work’ in August 2015, aiming to bridge the gap between unemployed higher professional education graduates and university graduates on the one hand, and an IT sector faced with a severe shortage of highly educated ICT experts on the other.

The first group comprised 14 graduates from a wide range of prior education backgrounds such as cell biology, history and criminology. They spent the past year retraining as software engineers in an intensive programme that started with five months of fulltime education at the AUAS. In the second semester, they spent four days a week working for one of the employers involved in the project. At the end of September, all 14 participants graduated successfully and were offered employment contracts with the companies they worked for during the programme.


Following the first 14 participants, another four groups totalling 64 highly educated unemployed graduates started the ‘Make IT Work' retraining project at the AUAS in the past year. According to project manager Ronald Kleijn, after successfully completing the programme, they too will have a good chance of finding employment in the ICT sector, with over 10,000 ICT vacancies in the Amsterdam metropolitan area alone.

Like the AUAS’s programme, the HU’s version of ‘Make IT Work’ is targeted at highly educated individuals without a specific background. However, the difference is that the students at the AUAS are retrained as software engineers, whereas the focus of the HU programme is on Business IT.

The AUAS has opened registration [in Dutch] for a new group of students seeking a future in the ICT sector.