Every year, only 1 in 10 Palestinian tech graduates land a job, with women facing a smaller
probability. The lack of opportunities available in the tech sector and the widening education-to employment gap poses a challenge for a growing base of skilled talent. To address this, The Portland Trust, a non-profit action-tank*, has been developing training programs for Palestinians alongside local IT SMEs.
“Palestine enjoys a good reputation as an IT outsourcing destination, and hiring software developers from Palestine is trusted by global companies. Yet, the tech sector is facing major issues in scaling its offering, mainly because the academic system focuses only on the hard skills and memorization,” shares Jafar Shunnar, co-founder of Kiitos, an IT company
based in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Nablus (Palestine) that focuses on developing
emerging tech talent and placing them within leading tech firms across Europe and the Middle
What is Talent Acceleration?
“The Kiitos TAP initiative is not only a unique opportunity to learn and enhance your technical
skills, but it is also a transformative experience that equips you with all the essential hard and
soft skills you will carry for the rest of your professional life.”
– Abdallah, TAP Cohort 1, 2021
Kiitos is behind the Talent Acceleration Program (TAP) which equips Palestinian students with the most in-demand technical and soft skills needed to break into the job market and to thrive in an international setting. In under three months, participants called ‘TAPpers” follow a cutting- edge curriculum, guided by international mentors. They also take on a trainee role during the program, working on live, international, client-facing projects while gaining practical, end-to-end implementation experience using Agile framework and SCRUM methodology.
Through TAP, Kiitos is growing the talent pool in Palestine and helping participants find local
and international jobs without having to leave their home country.
“I graduated as a Mechatronics engineer and I was about to work in the field, but I couldn’t find myself in it. Despite the fact that I barely passed the mandatory programming course in my bachelor degree, I have still decided to become a software developr. Who would know!! TAP focuses on learning by doing. It feels like I am constructing my career railway towards the future knowledge destination.”
Razan is a great example of a TAP trainee. She wanted to upgrade her tech skills and change her career path in order to find the job that would suit her best. TAP has given her a holistic approach to navigating the tech sector, giving her the business acumen and personal development needed to thrive in the tech industry.
The program successfully completed its first cohort of 15 TAP graduates. The second cohort is ongoing, with another 15 trainees participating. A third cohort is already in the works, with an expanded curriculum and capacity for more trainees to participate. By the end of 2021, Kiitos aims to have over 50 TAP graduates placed within its partner tech companies.
For more information about TAP or to hire successful graduates, email us at [email protected]
Kiitos’s mission is threefold:
● Addressing the current technology skills gap in Europe
● Sustainably develop technology talent in many nations (first Palestine, followed by the
wider MENA region and globally)
● Provide economic opportunities by hiring software developers talent with technology organisations action-tank* is an organization that is devoted to the advancement of change in policy (as in business or government) through active means.