Diversity, inclusion and training: the PowerCoders project in Turin in the SCAI Group

Powercoders was created with the aim of offering training and job opportunities to young people who have a refugee story

Turin, 1 February 2021Turin is the first Italian city where the Powercoders  project has landed , with the aim of offering training and work opportunities in the field of computer programming to young people with a refugee background. The SCAI Group, a leading ICT company with offices throughout Italy, believed in the project and opened a career path for two young developers from Syria and Morocco, who were hired on a permanent basis. An experience that enriches the team and testifies to the importance of including talent in the city nominated to become Italy’s Digital District. The opinion of SCAI Group CEO Massimiliano Cipolletta.

Started in Switzerland with two permanent academies in Zurich, the Powercoders programme was introduced in Italy in 2019 and Turin was chosen as the pilot city, an aspect that underlines the digital drive of the business environment in the Piedmontese capital. Powercoders aims to respond to the global challenges that create gaps in access to employment and social inclusion by offering intensive programming courses in the form of boot camps for young people with refugee backgrounds who can then be offered employment. It starts with paid internships aimed at a career in the IT sector in companies such as Gruppo SCAI, a network that has been operating in the ICT sector throughout Italy for over 40 years and which immediately joined the project.

This is a winning opportunity, first and foremost for the young beneficiaries of the project, who are able to “plan their future” and gain access to employment opportunities, thanks to a training course that enhances skills that are often not recognised in Europe. It is also an opportunity for companies that can enrich their development teams by selecting programmers motivated to grow as Full Stack Developers, i.e. developers with multifaceted expertise in the field of development and who, after the 3-month intensive classes, master the main programming languages such as CSS, HTML, Angular or Javascript. During the course, and then especially during the internship, the students do not only acquire technical skills: they work on the code but also learn the value of teamwork and sharing.

“After the launch of the Powercorders Italia proposal,” says Barbara Grossi, Corporate Training Manager of SCAI Group, ” we immediately decided to participate in recruiting days to meet the course participants and select them on the basis of the business needs of our software factories in Turin“. “We chose to promote the initiative internally ,” adds Claudia Pizzato, Corporate HR Director of the SCAI Group, ” first and foremost because of the concrete message of inclusion of skills that it allows us to convey. It is also a project designed to bring together young jobseekers and IT companies, through training and selection processes like those we usually follow, dedicated to choosing candidates on the basis of technical skills as well as soft skills.

After a 6-month internship in the Turin software factory of SCAI Consulting, a historical company of the SCAI Group, H. and A. were hired and enriched the work team in a spontaneous and multicultural way, stimulating conversations in English during breaks. They are currently working on real estate management and application management projects for the company’s major clients.

The 2 young men chose SCAI Group for the opportunity of professional growth, as a centre of technological expertise and context: “In SCAI I found a double opportunity,” says H., ” namely being able to work in a large company where I could learn a lot about digital, but above all in a team animated by a strong spirit of presence for people”. The company-candidate choice is in fact two-sided, it’s not just a matter of selecting figures to be included in a working group, it’s also the young people themselves who choose to be part of a team.

Statement by Massimiliano Cipolletta, CEO of the SCAI Group: “The hiring of two young people through the Powercoders Italia project is a concrete representation for the SCAI Group and for the entire entrepreneurial fabric of Turin of the importance of three winning drivers if we look to the future of ICT: diversity, inclusion and training are principles without which we would remain, as companies and as professionals, static, uniform and obsolete. I believe that the mix of genders, generations and skills can offer a vision of the digital future with a human face. The experience of Powercoders in Turin is in fact proof that the city is ready to seize the opportunity to become a national reference point as a Digital District, in favour of innovation driven by new technologies, guided by sustainability for our territory“.

Ample space has been lent to this project and to SCAI Group’s vision on issues related to team working and increasing the value of inclusion in the House Organ The SCAI CODE #6, but, most importantly, in a chapter of SCAI BOOK PLUG[+]IN, the recent publication available as a free download on the Group’s website. SCAI BOOK PLUG[+]IN is a 100-page collective essay, written by SCAI people with contributions from innovators and opinion leaders.


Read the magazine THE SCAI CODE 6