Looking back at the 2020 results and forward to 2021

2020 results


COVID-19


It's like kicking in an open door if we say that 2020 was dominated by COVID-19, yet we cannot leave the virus unmentioned. During the first wave, several assignments that were to be carried out on location at the client were put on hold. Fortunately, after the first wave we were able to start up again and we could continue carrying out almost all of our assignments during the second wave.


Almost everything digital and lots of working from home


Almost all events, meetings and commercial contacts were held digitally from mid-March on. Because contacts will most likely remain more digital after COVID-19, we have created a digital room on the fourth floor.

Of course, working from home has also greatly increased. For those employees who do not have the necessary infrastructure or for some other reason were unable to work from home, they could still come to work in one of our offices.


Growth


Test engineers


In early 2020, we had already completed an assessment-selection round for French-speaking consultants and were ready to begin the technical training. A new assessment for Dutch-speaking testers was also planned. Both had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Both selection rounds and training courses have now been completed and resulted in the hiring of ten additional consultants, including four French speakers.


Software developers


Many suitable extra candidates have registered with TRplus. Around ten consultants are already working on location at the client.


Business Intelligence


Around ten consultants were trained in SAS and about six in Microsoft Power BI. We have already found suitable assignments for several of them.


Extra office space


Since mid-2020, we are renting similar sized office space on the fourth floor in the same building as our ground floor office.


X-ray screening


Due to many flights being cancelled, several x-ray screeners were out of work, which immediately led to Passwerk offering less guidance on the work floor.


French-speaking consultants


2020 was the year of the breakthrough for our French-speaking consultants. The team now consists of ten consultants.


Zero Project Award


Passwerk won the Zero Project Award 2020 in late 2020. The theme was ‘Employment and ICT’ for persons with a disability. Of the 475 applications, we were one of the fifteen laureates selected in ‘innovative practices in employment for the business sector’.


Nominated for Trends Gazelles 2021


In late 2020, we were notified that Passwerk was nominated for ‘Trends Gazelles 2021’ in the Province of Antwerp.


ICT Community for ASD


Every year, the fund decides on a theme and extra attention is given to selecting the projects that will receive financial support. This year the theme was 'entrepreneurship by and for people with autism’.

Nine of the 28 projects submitted were selected and a total of 55,982 euros was distributed among them.


Passwerk Lifetime Achievement Award and Passwerk Award


In 2020, the fourth Passwerk Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ilse Noens. The winner of the seventh Passwerk Award is Andries Haesevoets.


New websites and trade fair booth


A new website was launched for Passwerk at the beginning of this year. A new website was created for TRplus and for the ‘ICT Community for ASD’ fund in mid-2020.

A new trade fair booth was also purchased, and we will be using it to the fullest post-COVID-19.


The future


Post-COVID-19


Hopefully, there will be mass vaccinations in 2021 and they will provide a solution to combating the virus, so that the current measures can be more or less eased or lifted entirely.


Growth and further diversification


We want to hire even more consultants in 2021. We see many opportunities for software testing, various quality assignments, software development and business intelligence.

Hopefully, flights will pick up in 2021 and we can select extra x-ray screeners and support them while they are working for G4S.

We would also like to further expand the services we offer. As we mentioned earlier, we asked Marleen Logghe from TwInsight to look for new areas and new activities outside the ICT sector for people with autism. Marleen does this based on the approximately fifteen predetermined criteria we provided.

In 2021, we want to work out a specific service for companies that would make it possible for them to make certain processes more autism friendly. This service is particularly aimed at raising awareness in companies.


French-speaking consultants


We hope we can continue to grow and expand our client portfolio in Wallonia. It would, of course, be fantastic if this growth would make it possible for us to open our first office in Wallonia.


Training courses


Various training courses are also planned for 2021. Most likely additional consultants will be trained in SAS and Power BI. And we will be starting a test project together with BeCode to train several consultants in SAP.


Conferences


Passwerk will be present at several conferences. The first will be the conference organised by Zero Project, in which we were one of the laureates. This was initially planned to be held in the UN buildings in Vienna, but due to COVID-19 it will instead be organised digitally in February.

In May, we are invited to be the keynote speaker at the ‘European Academy of Childhood Disability’. This conference is planned to take place in Bruges, but it will be switched to a digital conference if necessary.

Lastly, Neurowrx has a new international meeting planned, which will most likely take place in the autumn in Chicago.


Passwerk Lifetime Achievement Award and Passwerk Award


The fifth laureate for the Passwerk Lifetime Achievement Award will be chosen this year. We will announce the laureate on our website and social media as well as in the May issue of Passmap.

A winner will also be chosen for what will be our eighth Passwerk Award in 2021.


ICT Community for ASD


The theme for 2021 is ‘Connection’. The focus is on personal and family contacts as well as the connection within a broader - social or professional - network. The plan is to provide financial support to approximately eight projects. The call for applications will be announced in April, and the jury will decide in November which of the submitted dossiers will receive support.




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