On Friday 25 May 2018 ‘19’ was officially opened in Uccle. Founders Ian Gallienne and John-Alexander Bogaerts welcomed for the occasion the Minister for the Budget Sophie Wilmès, mayor of Uccle Boris Dilliès and founder of 42 in Paris Xavier Niel. In addition to the press, there were numerous partners and sponsors present, including BESIX Foundation, the private Foundation of BESIX Group. This Foundation makes financial contributions to help prepare young people for the digital market.
‘19’ offers the first entirely free IT training in Belgium, without professors or diplomas. It is aimed at young people between 18 and 30 who don’t feel at home in the traditional education system. The learning method relies on peer-to-peer teaching, an interactive approach that gives students the chance to unleash their creativity in various different projects. Proceeding at their own pace, they develop adaptation, learning and problem-solving capacities, indispensable skills that they can immediately use during one of the many company internships. With this practical, innovative education, the founders want to help create jobs and reintegrate students.
BESIX Foundation connects with the diversity and sustainability of ‘19’
This approach, aimed at diversity and sustainability, is a perfect match with the philosophy of BESIX Foundation. The Foundation, set up in 2009 following the 100-year anniversary of the Group, identifies training as one of the areas in which it wants to offer support.
“This new school not only responds to an urgent need in the area of digitisation, '19' also offers an innovative education, accessible for everyone, particularly for young people who can’t find their way in the current school system, explains Donatienne de Spirlet, Executive Officer of the BESIX Foundation. “Their objective concerning socio-professional reintegration is in perfect harmony with the objectives of our Foundation.”
Thanks to their partnership with MolenGeek, BeCode and Women In Tech, social actors in the region, ‘19’ will be able to help an underprivileged public gain access to high-quality education. “And in the context of our KiddyBuild project, ‘19’ has agreed to conduct an awareness campaign about these future professions aimed at children in the last two years of primary school in disadvantaged areas. A new partnership that will enrich ‘19’ and the activities of the Foundation,” states Frédéric de Schrevel, Chairman of the BESIX Foundation.
Social diversity achieved
During the opening the final selection test was launched for those students who had earlier passed the entrance exams. This revealed that the social diversity aim of the project had been achieved: participants included 70% jobseekers, 20% students and 10% employees. In the future the school would like to achieve even more diversity and equality by encouraging women to take the course.