Providing skills training to Central and Eastern Europes unemployed youth
EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE: EPAM), a leading global provider of product development and software engineering, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to prepare 5,000 students in need in Central Europe to enter the IT sector by 2020. The company also pledged to replicate its training program in three new countries, including the United States, China and India.
EPAM plans to meet these goals through its University Program. Launched in 2004 to meet increased industry demand, the program provides specialized IT training for university students in Central and Eastern Europe.
Countries in Central and Eastern Europe have a strong tradition of science and technology education. When provided with the right training and opportunities, young people in this region show remarkable potential in software engineering and information technology. For example, in Belarus, a country of nine million people roughly 16,000 young men and women graduate each year with IT and related technical skills. The country's reputation for scientific and IT excellence, together with a competitive labour market, has drawn numerous IT companies to the country. However, since higher education is publicly funded, most state universities do not offer the level of training students need to enter the workforce and compete in the global IT sector, where innovation and progress move quickly.
To close the IT knowledge gap, EPAM launched its University Program in Belarus twelve years ago and has since expanded to five countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Since its founding, the education program has seen significant growth from 30 students to a total of 9,500 in 2015; of these graduates, EPAM has provided direct employment to 4,900 young people. As a leading global provider of digital platform engineering services, the company is able to offer cutting-edge, industry-relevant training to equip students with the competitive skills they need to succeed not just in the local market, but internationally.
EPAM began operating in Central and Eastern Europe in 1993, and has quickly become the region's top employment provider in the IT sector. With a global workforce of more than 16,000 people, 5,000 EPAM employees are located in Belarus alone, with 9,000 individuals throughout the region. Given that the average monthly income in Belarus is US$450 and in many countries throughout the region, the average monthly income is even less, the employment opportunities provided through EPAM's University Program have not only contributed to the economic security of its employees, but to the region's entire IT industry.
The program currently provides specialized training in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Hungary. Based on its success in Eastern and Central Europe, EPAM plans to expand the program to three new countries including the United States, China and India. By 2020, it pledges to empower an additional 5,000 students with high tech skills and global opportunities.