Dominique Leroy teaches entrepreneurship to 18 to 25 year-olds for the Digitalent project

A class with an unusual teacher

How do you become the head of a company such as Proximus? How do you manage such a large company? What will the technologies of the future look like? Dominique Leroy answered these and many other questions during the class she gave this Tuesday in Schaerbeek to young job seekers aged 18 to 25 – all participants of the Digitalent training program. This exceptional encounter was live streamed to about 40 students in La Louvière, Ostend and Ghent, also as part of the Digitalent project. These students asked their questions to Dominique Leroy via chat.

I was delighted to meet and engage in a dialog with these youngsters. It is crucial to help young people develop because the quality of tomorrow's society depends on today’s youth. We also need to make them familiar with new technologies and robotization, to give them the tools to create jobs that don't yet exist. Personally, I wanted to transmit two main messages to them: first, that you must always believe in yourself, and second, that to find a job you need to be guided and surrounded by the right people. That's the whole point of the Digitalent project, which I hold very dear, and I am delighted with its success.

New technologies and entrepreneurship

Launched in April 2015 at the initiative of the Proximus Foundation, Digitalent is a training cycle aimed at introducing young unemployed people to information and communication technologies. These youngsters often find it difficult to choose a career path. No diploma is required, just a good dose of motivation. The aim is to familiarize these 18 to 25 year olds with the world of 3D printing and design, the Internet of Things, and mobile applications. Every day, new jobs are emerging in these fields, and these jobs are vacant.

But Digitalent goes further. The program also aims to raise awareness among young people about entrepreneurship through initiatives such as the class given by Dominique Leroy this Tuesday. Understanding the world of business often helps to understand the job market and find your way in it more easily.

Encouraging results

Digitalent also teaches young people job-seeking techniques. During the eight-week training offered by the program, one day a week is devoted to job-seeking techniques, three days to the discovery of new technologies, and one day to raising awareness about entrepreneurship.

Digitalent is a public-private partnership between Forem, VDAB, Actiris, Bruxelles Formation and the different participating municipalities. The trainers themselves come from the companies Altran, 3KD, Technobel and YouthStart. Over the past two years, more than 130 young people have been trained during the 14 Digitalent sessions held in 10 cities/municipalities around the country: in Antwerp, Liège, Schaerbeek, Forest, Charleroi, Namur, Mons, Hasselt, Mechelen and Ghent. Of these young people, 30% have found a job and 30% have gone back into training.


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