GaiaTalent – mobilization against exclusion

24 October 2022

GaiaTalent starts mobilization against young exclusion in Nordland.  Young digital talents outside work and school, as well as public and private actors in the region, are now invited to join forces. The goal is to create new digital workplaces, as well as help the local community solve its digital needs. 

– We will now connect young, digital talents, who have fallen outside, to companies and organizations that need digital competence.  It is important to be aware that even if young people are not in work or education, many have self-taught digital competence. We must make use of these digital talents. We hope that everyone interested – both companies and young people, will now contact us says Ane Høyem, project manager at GaiaVesterålen and GaiaTalent. 

Young people in exclusion is one of our biggest social problems. In Nordland alone, 7,000 young people aged 18 to 30 are out of work or school. Brand new figures from NAV show that 688 of these live in Vesterålen. According to NAV, Vesterålen has a higher proportion of young people excluded than, for example, Lofoten and Ofoten. GaiaTalent entered into a binding collaboration with NAV last week. 

– There are probably many who do not think about the skills you have at home in your room. I hope we reach a greater openness about being outside through this? that more young people see this and get in touch. Just as important as for young people to realise their value is that employers realise the resource they can be. We have room for more, as long as there are so many who are excluded,” says Espen Bjørnsund Gundersen, head of NAV Sortland. 

In June, Nordland County Council donated more than NOK 1 million to GaiaTalent and worked to combat young exclusion. It is this allocation that enables the mobilisation that will now take place in Vesterålen. 

– We have far too many young outsiders, both in Nordland and throughout Norway. GaiaTalent does something concrete here and shows that behind the numbers in a statistic are resources that we really need, perhaps especially in rural areas. This initiative and work is incredibly important to include more people. It is useful for society and important for the individual,” says Elin Dahlseng Eide, county councillor for education and competence. 

The digital talents will work together with the staff of GaiaVesterålen and one of the foremost technology environments in Europe, Sintef Digital. They will have their own office space and become part of a social community where they can unfold together with mentors, supervisors and other talents. At the same time, the path to working together with local businesses is short. Knowledge training IT is the main partner in GaiaTalent and has extensive experience in working with this target group. 

– With Knowledge Training IT, talents get an online arena where they can interact with professional supervisors and experts in a number of digital fields. Here, local talents can work practically in projects and formalize their expertise. The partnership in GaiaTalent gives the talents in Vesterålen a good foundation in the close community and at the same time proximity to a borderless learning environment, says Lars Utstøl, general manager of Knowledge Training IT. 

What exactly is GaiaTalent?

GaiaTalent wants to connect exclusion with the need for digital competence in rural areas. 30 young people will qualify and get their future digital workplace in Vesterålen. 

A broad collaboration

GaiaTalent is a collaborative project between GaiaVesterålen, Lofotr Næringsdrift, Sortland municipality and Knowledge Training IT. Lofotr Næringsdrift is the project owner. In addition, SINTEF Digital, Nordland Research Institute, Vesterålen ICT, Deadline Media, Nav, Bodø2024, as well as municipalities in the region, are associated with the project. 

Read more about GaiaVesterålen

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