Building Skills For The Future

Projects - Current

After the implementation of the IBM SkillsBuild platform on Lesvos, MOTG recently completed a pilot in the Netherlands to empower refugees and migrants with skills that are high in (future) demand. 

We did this pilot in close collaboration with Refugee Talent Hub, a Dutch NGO with a mission to connect refugee talents with employers with the goal of paid employment.
For MOTG this initiative is part of our “from refugee to employee” empowerment objectives along the journey.

Most importantly, for the refugees, these (future) skills mean more self-reliance and increased chances for a better future.

The pilot focused on the in-demand skills for Customer Service. The participants earned accredited digital credentials (Badges) issued by IBM and partners, which can be used by participants to provide more confidence to/for their future employers.

The lowest rating of the pilot was 8, and all of the participants indicated they recommend the training and SkillsBuild platform to others. 

"I am very grateful for this great training; it was very helpful, and I really learned a lot. I really recommended everyone to join the SkillsBuild program and take advantage of the very useful and beneficial knowledge it provides” – Elham Emadi


Leveraging our Digital Learning Labs in Kara Tepe, Moria Camp and in Mytilini City, MOTG runs a small but comprehensive SkillsBuild program on Lesvos that benefits:

  • The residents of our CampUS, to empower them with future skills.
  • The local Greek community, to gain skills in support of local economic development through a collaboration with Creative Hub.
  • Selected students from the local university, to gain skills for which they otherwise would have to leave the island for.

With this program setup, MOTG tries to help residents of the camps as well as the local Greek community on Lesvos. The ultimate goal being to build dualistic relationships between both communities, with the mission statement for the SkillsBuild program:

“The refugee camp is the most inspiring campus, which creates the number one global citizens and influencers.”

A prime example of such role model and unsung hero is Masoumeh.

As a teacher in our Digital Learning Lab on Lesvos, she took the digital literacy courses to a next level. She inspires her students and just loves to teach.

When the DLLs closed because of Covid-19, she adapted and started to teach English to a few children of the camps. Within two months, she taught them to express themselves in basic English.

Masoumeh was also one of the first to complete SkillsBuild modules and can’t wait for the DLLs to open again soon.

For our CampUs residents and the DLL teachers however, there is a need to be able to continue the development of their skills further along their journey. This is where the pilot with RTH comes into play.

The SkillsBuild pilot in the Netherlands

Most of the not-for-profit (NPOs) organisations operating in the refugee crisis response around the globe are developing training programs that are limited in capacity and most of the time is not market-led. The latter is crucial to close the gap in employment and for this reason the pilot had a focus on Customer Service which is applicable in many sectors and industries and is in high demand.

During the pilot, ten participants improved their skills in Customer Service, completing all the modules of this learning path on the platform. Via an interactive ten-week training program facilitated by Lotte Schipper (RTH) and Judith Bindels & Rick Reesen (MOTG) with 6 (online) sessions, the participants acquired essential skills and knowledge of what it means to work in the field of customer service.

These skills consist of:

  • Core Customer Service skills that include building rapport, clear verbal and written communication, active listening, customer service orientation, problem resolution, and information gathering.
  • Professional skills to get an understanding of key skills for professional success and core soft skills needed in the workforce. This knowledge of skills and behaviours includes; collaborating effectively with teams, creating and delivering presentations, communicating with impact, dealing with challenges in a controlled and focused manner, using agile approaches for working professionally to deliver quality work and experiences to customers, and solving problems and implementing solutions.
  • Essential skills that represent the industry knowledge and modern ways of working which professionals need to be successful in a digital innovation economy. Like how to use and apply agile and design thinking methodologies and practices and be aware of the key technologies that power today's jobs. These technologies include cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data and analytics, the Internet of Things, blockchain, and security.

Pilot Results

Although the ultimate outcome can only be measured when the students have found a job, 80% of the students earned the valuable digital certificates that they already published on their LinkedIn profiles. And as said, all of the participants indicated they recommend the training and SkillsBuild platform to others.

As organisers, we feel grateful and humble having been able to give the participants the chance to work on their skills and help them get more job ready for the Dutch labour market.

We are currently looking forward continuing and expand the SkillsBuild project in the Netherlands with other groups and/or individual learners, both within the refugees- and local communities in order to help create a united and inclusive society.

For more information or interest in the program, please don’t hesitate to send us an email:

The participants could earn the following badges that are part of the Customer Service Representative learning path in SkillsBuild.

You can click on them to better understand what skills they acquired in this program. 

This badge earner understands methodologies & best practices for building rapport & engaging in productive communication. 

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This badge earner has acquired knowledge and best practices essential to resolving client problems through organization, retrieval, and usage of resources and information essential to customer success operations.

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This badge earner has an understanding of key skills for professional success and core soft skills needed in the IT workforce.

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Essential skills represent the industry knowledge and modern ways of working that professionals need to be successful in a digital innovation economy.

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About IBM SkillsBuild

SkillsBuild is an IBM Corporate Social Responsibility program in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and non-profits. The platform provides job seekers – including those returning to work after leave, the long-term unemployed, migrants, veterans and those changing professions – with the digital content, personalized coaching and experiential learning they need, to gain technical and professional skills required to re-enter the workforce.

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