Portugal · 15 November 2022 · 2 min
Sintra, Portugal, 15 November 2022 - The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Sintra City Council presented the results of Bytes4Future, a digital upskilling programme for vulnerable youth. Prince Rahim Aga Khan joined the Mayor of Sintra, Basílio Horta, the President of the Foundation for Science and Technology, Madalena Alves and other experts at the Centro Cultural Olga Cadaval, Sintra, Portugal. A roundtable was held on “Future skills and emerging trends”, and two alumni spoke about what the programme had meant for them.
Bytes4Future is a 17-week programme that enables socioeconomically marginalised participants aged 18 to 29 to develop their programming, multimedia and English skills, involving relevant companies to provide access to employment. It aims to break the cycle of social exclusion and poverty and meet the demand for digital skills in Portugal’s labour market.
AKF created Bytes4Future in 2020 in partnership with the Run Code School, the Municipality of Sintra and the Portugal Social Innovation Partnership for Impact. It is co-funded by AKF Portugal, the Portugal Social Innovation Programme (through EU funding) and the Sintra Municipal Council.
The initiative has already reached more than 200 youth (25 percent girls). The demanding programme includes seven weeks of preparation, including goal setting, English language and multimedia skills, and a bootcamp consisting of 10 intensive weeks of programming, additionally covering skills such as design thinking and pitching. Participants graduate as junior full stack developers, 98 percent finding employment within six months.
Bytes4Future will next expand its response to youth in other geographies and in new areas of technology. The team is developing a curriculum in Data and Business Analytics, to be rolled out in the next cohort. AKF is scaling up by training more trainers, and is using a digital platform to support participants and provide remote bootcamp delivery. Bytes4Future will expand to Porto later this year and to Lisbon in 2023, remaining in Sintra for another three years.