Powercoders is a coding academy for refugees.
It consists of a coding bootcamp of 13 weeks and an internship that lasts 6 to 12 months.
We are based in Switzerland but are right now expanding to Europe and the Middle East.
The best way is to offer an internship. If this is not possible for you, you can encourage your employees to join us as mentors or coaches. Please get in touch with us.
An internship for Powercoders is, on the one hand, a shortcut for talented people from refugee background who need a doorway into the IT labour market of Switzerland. On the other hand, it is the unique chance for companies to get hold of raw talent, get in touch with a person from refugee background - and have a strong impact on his or her unusual life story. Almost every company who offered an internship has told us that it was a very enriching experience for all the employees.
The average duration of an internship is 6 - 9 months. However you can also offer 3 months and decide later if you’d like to prolong it.
At the career day we are simulating a real job finding situation. Every company is presenting in 5 minutes the internship they want to offer. Afterwards every company has a booth and the participants can stop by. The goal is to invite 3 to 5 participants for an interview in the following week.
Yes. Refugees with B or F permits are considered almost like Swiss welfare recipients. The state wants them to be integrated, have a job and become independent. The same goes for temporarily admitted foreigners with F status.
Asylum seekers with permit N are theoretically allowed to work, but have more difficulties to get a work permit because of the priority to Swiss nationals. Nevertheless, the Powercoders team has found ways to make it happen for their students with N permits in collaboration with the legal authorities.
The Powercoders team files the applications for the job permits. The companies only have to sign the application form that we prepare for them, create the employment contract and pay the low fee (if there is one).
The work permit is limited to the duration of the internship. However, if the same company wants to offer another internship or employment subsequently, the work permit can easily be adapted accordingly. A work permit is always only valid for an employment at the company it was applied for.
The recommended salary during the internship is between CHF 400 and 600 a month. This is about equivalent to a salary of a 1-year-apprentice.
That depends on the Canton. But in most Cantons the apprenticeship needs to be recognized by the authorities and then the working permit can be issued.
No. There is no obligation to employ the intern after the internship in any way.
However, f you want to continue to engage with your intern but you can’t offer a job or an apprenticeship, there are several alternative options:
- prolong the internship upto one year
- offer a part time internship or job and let the intern study German part time
- offer a part time internship or job while your intern is part time studying at FH or ETH
- share the resource with another company in the Powercoders network
No, the existing job permit can easily be adapted to a permit for an apprenticeship.
Yes, they are. But important is that their main work and their workplace is with the company that filed the working permit and within that Canton where the permit was issued.
The students are highly skilled refugees from various countries. Most of them already have a background in IT or engineering. But most important are their learning abilities.
We had nearly 140 applications for Powercoders Zürich. 40 applicants were invited to a short IT - Test and a personal interview. We were looking for participants with high learning abilities, motivation, passion, talent and convincing personalities. Only the most promising ones were selected.
Nine students are recognised refugees with permit B or F. Five students are temporarily admitted foreigners with permit F. Four students are asylum seekers with permit N.
B: Refugees with permits B have the permanent permission to stay in Switzerland.
F: Temporarily admitted foreigners and refugees with permit F are very likely to stay in Switzerland for long-term.
N: Asylum seekers with permit N are still waiting for the decision from the authorities, whether they will be approved as refugees or not. However the few students we have with N-status have a good chance to get a positive decision soon.
Most of them are living in flats offered by their social service. A few of them (mainly the ones who have not been granted asylum) are living in refugee homes.
Students at Powercoders learn HTML, CSS, and JS in the first seven weeks. They also learn about GIT, UX and Agile Project Management. The second part of the course - after Career Day - focuses more on Server-Side Technologies, technologies that are being used by our partners. At the same time, we work on personal projects using these technologies
The social welfare law of each canton regulates the amount of money social welfare recipients get. They follow the SKOS (Schweizerische Konferenz für Sozialhilfe) regulations. A recognised refugee with permit B or F living alone receives around 1000 CHF per month (accommodation and health insurance expenses not included).
Temporarily admitted persons with permit F and Asylum seekers with permit N often receive much less.
B, F or N permit in Switzerland
Good Basic knowledge in IT
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Are you a developer and you like to volunteer and help in teaching for some days or maybe hours? Apply as a coach.
If you are living in Switzerland, and like to support our students to fast integrate and understand work culture and life, apply as a mentor and go through the selection process.