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Upskilling students in remote areas in Greece during the COVID-19 pandemic

Enabling access to the skills of today to create a better workforce for tomorrow

Situation

Removing barriers to allow students to prepare for the world of work 
#itstime

At a time when the world was going into lock down due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, PwC Greece was considering ways to further their ‘New world. New skills’ upskilling strategy. As the impact of the pandemic became clearer the need for human connection became exponential and PwC Greece wanted to act on their belief that every student in Greece should be able to live, learn, work and participate in the digital world. 

PwC Greece identified students in remote parts of Greece as a vulnerable part of society that could easily become even more isolated during the pandemic. UNICEF’s reachability index shows that three out of four students who cannot be reached by remote-learning options (including radio, television and internet) come from rural areas and/or poor households.

With 71 million young people worldwide unemployed², and between 20-40% of the jobs currently held by 16-24 year olds at risk of automation by the mid-2030s³, developing the skills required for the digital age is one of the most acute challenges communities are facing. COVID-19 has only widened this gap for digitally disadvantaged youth trying to prepare and enter the workforce.

Experience

Creating a virtual, inclusive pathway forward
#bethesolution
 

PwC Greece wanted to remove barriers and directly address what is required to thrive in today’s world of work. The team started a collaboration with The Tipping Point (TTP)¹ to support students by enabling access to information, awareness and provide education that would help students understand some of the pathways to employment. TPP’s online platform and mobile app, were able to connect students in remote areas of Greece with PwC Greece mentors located on the other side of the country. 

Digital upskilling and tools to build supporting skills such as; leadership and creativity were the focus in line with our New world. New skills. initiative, which believes that everyone should be able to live, learn, work and participate in the digital world.

“The digital and soft skills in the workplace sessions with the mentors provided a window overlooking the world that awaits them after they complete their studies. They gained knowledge, became curious, intellectually stimulated and received information that could improve their decisions about their future path.”

High School Professor, Moiron Heraklion Crete

TTP’s mobile micro-mentoring app became an important way for PwC Greece mentors to continue volunteering during the lockdown measures brought on by COVID-19, as well as offer the students an alternative to live calls. They were able to deliver bite sized career orientation advice and digital skills through short and concise virtual videos. 

The students were able to upload questions relating to today’s work environment, the digital skills needed and career paths, directly onto the mobile app and PwC Greece mentors were able to respond remotely. Through TTP students were also able to access 30-60 minute sessions delivered by our team in Greece relating to digital upskilling.

“PwC’s mentors talked with the students about digital and soft skills but also the present capabilities of information technology and robotics required in today's job market, beyond the standard interview and CV writing.”

Professor Panagiotis Petropoulos 2nd High School of Kalamata, Messinia.

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Impact

Helping young people get one step closer to equal rights in knowledge
#togetherwesolve

Through TTP’s digital platform, PwC’s Greece volunteers have been able to mentor and train students in both digital skills and the soft skills needed for employability. So far the programme has reached:

  • Over 300 students 
  • Aged 14-17 years old
  • From 13 secondary-schools in remote areas of Greece (mainland and islands)

But, it is also more than this, the collaboration has provided a platform to ask questions and bring down barriers students may envision exist when following a career path in professional services. TPP continues to enable PwC Greece volunteers to connect with and mentor students in remote areas of Greece. 

Ioannis Koutalonis, PwC Associate Assurance, PwC Volunteer

"This project is utterly important because it gives students in remote places access to mentors and knowledge that usually is a privilege to more populated schools in the city center. With this initiative and people to support it, students in Greece get one step closer to equal rights in knowledge."

Ioannis Koutalonis Assurance Associate, PwC Greece

1. The Tipping Point website www.thetippingpoint.org.gr 
2. 2020, Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020, International Labour Office  
3. 2018, PwC UK,
Will Robots really steal our jobs

“It is part of a virtuous circle. Many people helped me in the past, declutter my mind and make decisions. It is my turn to pass my knowledge to people that need it the most.”

Ioannis KoutalonisAssurance Associate, PwC Greece

Contact us

Tracey Capper

Global Corporate Responsibility Senior Manager, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 8603 3346

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