Anera and ReBootKamp (RBK) are partnering to provide high-demand tech and professional job skills training to Palestinian youth in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Jordan.
40% of youth in Jordan and Palestine are unemployed, three times the global average for young people. The new anera+RBK program targets communities with the highest rates of unemployment – women, youth, refugees – and others particularly likely to benefit from skill trainings to open career opportunities. And studies show that a vibrant information technology sector significantly contributes to development and social progress.
Anera President & CEO Sean Carroll comments,
“I can think of nothing more important than helping disaffected, unemployed, and under-employed Palestinian youth, women and refugees accelerate their careers. And, given the large and growing need for qualified software engineers in Palestine, the region and beyond, and the inability of universities to fill the vacancies fast enough, this program is a clear win-win – a win for Palestinians looking for a better future, and a win for companies needing top tech talent to be and stay competitive in a fast-changing world. Anera is excited and pleased to be able to partner with RBK on this initiative.”
Tech is a key employment opportunity with large market demand. One million new tech jobs are forecast in the region in the next five years, with many more available through remote work with companies in Europe and the U.S. A World Bank survey of tech startup entrepreneurs in the West Bank and Gaza found that the tech startup ecosystem in the region is growing rapidly but is in an early-stage and still maturing. There is a strong demand for tech skills but limited skills and experience.
The anera+RBK program functions as a career accelerator, producing high quality software engineers and future leaders in the regional tech industry. RBK was one of the first coding bootcamps in the Arab world, opening in Jordan four years ago. 94 percent of RBK graduates are working in the industry within six months of completing the program.
The initial cohort will attend classes in Amman, with plans for future cohorts in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Using the Hack Reactor curriculum developed in Silicon Valley, graduates of the four month program are immediately employable as skilled software engineers. Scholarships and concessional loans are provided to those in need of financial assistance. The program builds good coding skills, and the ‘soft skills’ necessary to be successful in a global market – English, negotiation skills, mindfulness, physical and mental health.
The pilot program, which will begin in late May, includes a “facilitators cohort” immersive program that begins with a first phase of self-paced, six-week prep work in Palestine for all interested applicants. The second phase of three-month immersive course work will be held in Amman, starting in mid-July. Working with these newly-trained Palestinian facilitators, anera+RBK will organize and convene cohorts in Palestine, beginning in late 2019.