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In practice

TechHire: creating employment opportunities in the tech sector

Summary

San Diego, United States—

  • TechHire aims to give people from disadvantaged groups the opportunity to find employment in the tech sector regardless of their experience in the field.

  • The programme offers access to career coaching and support in resumé drafting and interview preparation as well as helping employers understand that even candidates with non-traditional education pathways might have the skills required for the job.

  • Since its launch in 2018, TechHire has placed 750 participants into paid work experiences with local employers.

Published on the 03/05/2024

Geographic scaleCity / metropolitan area

KeywordsInclusion, Sector strategies, Women, Reskilling and upskilling

ThemeLocal employment and skills

CountryUnited States

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What are the objectives?

In the San Diego area, 60% of entry-level jobs in tech require six months of experience or more. Therefore, the lack of experience often represents a barrier that prevents many individuals from applying to tech jobs even after completing training programmes.

TechHire aims to give people from disadvantaged groups the opportunity to find employment in the tech sector regardless of their experience in the field. TechHire offers subsidised paid work experiences in IT, Data Analytics, and Front-End Web Development to job seekers who have obtained a certification in the tech field. The idea is then to convert this work experience into stable employment.

How does it work in practice?

The TechHire programme is open to people aged 18 and over, who are residents of San Diego County, have education or training in ICT-related fields, come from a low-to-moderate income household or are from an under-represented group in the tech sector.

After an online application and the completion of an individual employment plan with a case manager, TechHire participants start 150-hour paid work experience in the tech field, which is then followed by three-month employment assistance. This includes access to career coaching and support in resumé drafting and interview preparation.

TechHire also contributes to transforming hiring practices by building a relationship of trust with local employers and helping them understand that even candidates with non-traditional education pathways might have the skills required for the job.

What has been the impact?

Since its launch in 2018, TechHire has placed 750 participants into paid work experiences with local employers. TechHire has also helped underrepresented communities secure long-term employment with over 70% of participants who identify as black or indigenous or people of colour and over 40% to women.

What can other communities learn from this example?

Thanks to subsidised employment, TechHire contributes to improving the economic and employment situation for low-income and underserved people. In addition to removing barriers to employment, the programme allows employers to do a no-risk trial with a new qualified talent pool that can bring new ideas and make the sector more diverse.

OECD resources

OECD (2022), "Future-proofing adult learning systems in cities and regions: A policy manual for local governments", OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Papers, No. 2022/03, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/11fa26cc-en.

OECD (2023). OECD City Network on Jobs and Skills, Digital Skills and Digital Inclusion Summary, https://www.oecd.org/cfe/leed/future-proofing-adult-learning-cities/City_network_Nov_23_Summary.pdf.

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