The company is on a mission to create a global movement helping newcomers (refugees) launch their careers in the Salesforce ecosystem.
In a statement, the company says, “Since 2019, we have worked to create lasting social impact through our programme for the people whom we serve. However, we recognise that many still face challenges due to a highly stigmatised landscape, discrimination in hiring practices, and misconceptions about talent. This is why we, like many organisations, also choose to remove the word ‘refugee’ from our brand and materials. We believe that it is not our role to broadly define our participants, but to amplify who they want to be and be as a partner in their future.”
Pain points of the refugees
According to Blue Road Academy’s co-founder Gaspar Rodriguez, only 30 per cent of refugees have jobs three years after they arrive in The Netherlands. A very high number of them remain unemployed or underemployed. The biggest reason: a lack of network. “They don’t know anybody here. They go to asylum camps where they meet only other refugees. Having no network is huge when looking for a job.”
Another issue is a lack of credentials. Refugees who earned a master’s degree at their native university discover that their qualifications are not recognised by employers in the European Union. So they have to recertify. “That means going back to school for two years. A lot of them choose to go for a low-paying job instead of going for another bachelor’s degree, leaving them underemployed,” adds Rodriguez.
Then there is a third problem that refugees face when seeking employment. Rodriguez says, “There is a lot of stigma towards them. This is hard to capture in numbers, but we notice employers are scared these people are not a good fit for the team or might have extra needs. It’s really hard to convince companies that hiring a refugee is a good idea.”
“Investing in world-class Salesforce talent”
Founded by Gaspar Rodriguez, Nick Broekema and Marielle Schweickart, Blue Road Academy wants to change how the general public, organisations, and businesses see the knowledge and abilities that immigrants bring to their host nation in order to start new lives there.
Together with its local partners, the company claims to be creating an environment for newcomers to help them learn digital skills and technical leadership in leading tech hubs such as Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Berlin, and London.
Blue Road Academy offers a 6-week intensive training to newcomers. Over 100 hours of classroom instruction are included in the curriculum, which also includes scenarios, team exercises, and best practices. There are 20 technical classroom sessions covering every component of the Salesforce Administrator Exam.
Additionally, career training seminars led by Salesforce experts are included. To assist them in mapping out their entry into the ecosystem and concentrating on their career path, participants are partnered one-on-one with Salesforce workers who serve as mentors.
Rodriguez says, “We embrace change and progress. Our programmes and our organisation are dedicated to incredibly resilient individuals who are faced with a complex transformation. We have always shared this burden with them. With this re-brand, we take an important step in our evolution in line with our mission. Change is not always easy, but we are fully up for this challenge.”