Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Make IT Work retraining track officially launched at Media Park

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and Hilversum City Council join forces

12 Nov 2018 10:00 | AZ Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries

Following a previous, tentative excursion to Hilversum, Make IT Work will officially move in with MyBit at the Media Park in Hilversum on Monday, 12 November 2018. The new site for AUAS’s retraining track will be a boon to Hilversum’s local authority, which is keen for the Media Park to be a bustling media campus.

‘The successful Make IT Work track will enable us to make a difference at a time when companies are itching to attract IT talent’, says Alderman for Media and Economy Wimar Jaeger. ‘Collaborating with AUAS presents opportunities for residents and companies in the Hilversum region.’

One of the new course participants to start at the Media Park on 12 November is Witho Oost. ‘My expectation is to lay a solid foundation for my knowledge and skills in Java as well as IT architecture over the next year.’ Having studied public administration and journalism, Oost spent the past decade working predominantly in the field of online content. He has been engaged as a freelancer, working on such issues as content strategy, SEO and e-commerce.

‘I want to do what you are doing!’

At that point, he had a change of heart, Oost explains. ‘I work with IT people a lot, playing the role of stakeholder 'ordering' a UX improvement, AB test or other e-commerce product from the scrum teams. For the past three years, I have had the feeling when working with IT people that I want to be doing what they are doing!’

The Make IT Work retraining track turns well-educated individuals into fully fledged ICT staff within the space of a year. Candidates are primed for the roles of software engineer, business analytics specialist or cyber security specialist by means of substantive modules, projects, coaching and peer review. They are assisted in their efforts by companies that will offer the candidates a job once they have successfully completed the first semester. After completing the track, course participants are awarded a certificate by AUAS.

Huge demand for digital talent

Make IT Work has been running smoothly since the beginning of 2015. The labour market has changed dramatically over recent years under the influence of digitisation. Consequently, the demand for specific digital skills has been growing more rapidly than the current level of supply can match. Geleyn Meijer, AUAS Rector, is delighted that Make IT Work is now in a position to do something for the Hilversum region as well. The retraining track is already active in Amsterdam and in the north of the Netherlands.

‘The importance of Lifelong Learning is widely recognised and suited to our society, in which there are marked changes in the jobs that people do within their lifetimes and in which life expectancy is also increasing. Together with the pressing demand for talented individuals with digital skills, you can see the need for the AUAS Make IT Work programme.’

European example

The fact that the Make IT Work programme has already produced a large number of success stories is proven by its official recognition as a ‘model project’ by the European Commission. The European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society put forward the programme as an example to other EU countries in terms of digital skills training. Her Dutch representative Tineke Netelenbos calls Make IT Work a fantastic initiative.

‘It offers people a chance to work in a sector which they did not initially choose, but which on further reflection will provide them with an exceedingly interesting, future-proof working environment. Make IT Work has been included in a European booklet featuring nine exemplary projects. I hope and expect that the programme will be imitated throughout Europe.’

Brand-new office at MyBit

The next generation of 25 course participants will start within a brand-new setting in Hilversum. Software developer MyBit is leasing a portion of its premises to Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. ‘As an innovative software firm with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility, MyBit is also contributing to the retraining track’s content. For example, our software engineers are providing input on the curriculum’, states manager Marten Kodde. ‘In conjunction with Make IT Work, we are in a position to translate market needs into content for the retraining track. Moreover, there is a demand within the growing MyBit organisation for well-educated IT professionals.’

Alderman Wimar Jaeger: ‘The collaboration with AUAS dovetails neatly with our Media Park 2030 vision, which entails media professionals, students and visitors coming together to learn from one another.’ Unsurprisingly, Hilversum City Council is keen to extend ties with the university of applied sciences.