Case Study - Java4Women

Java4Women is a collaborative project being piloted in Sweden in 2016. It has been set up by three parties, the government’s Employment Agency, TNG, a private sector recruitment company and training provider, Lexicon. The project has been established with the aim of targeting the gender imbalance in the IT industry and is offered to women aged 25 and over who are currently unemployed.

With only 20 places available, the pilot offers a 4 month, blended learning course where the women will learn all areas of front and back end programming. The course uses a mixture of video material, lectures and project based content. Applications have been received from all over Sweden and candidates have had to complete a screening process including psychometric testing, video interviews and face to face meetings. 100 candidates were then invited to attend a day at Lexicon’s facilities in Stockholm and 20 have been selected to start the full time course which will run from October 2016 through to February 2017.

Bita Jabbari and Bardia Fathi are the course leaders with responsibility for the scheme. Bita attended a similar, mixed gender scheme previously run by Lexicon. After completing the course she was offered a job as a trainer and has spent many months refining and re-writing the course materials. Bita reports that she "tested out and evaluated the full range of on line resources, and I mean all of them! I was particularly impressed with the modules available through Virtual Pair Programmers." The materials are now being used in the company’s IT Service Training programme where post course employment rates have risen to 90%.

Bita comments "the students loved the Java sections and learnt a lot from the videos. One of the big advantages is that students are able to revisit sections of the course in their own time which helps them to embed their learning."

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