Along with the new public service scheme for ICT Apprentices, these paid industry placements will go some way to beat the ICT skills crisis.
Media Release - ANU ACSF
Friday 13 October 2006
ANU teams with industry to solve ICT skills crisis
Computer Science students at The Australian National University will get scholarships of between $12,000 and $15,000 to combine relevant work experience and study in a unique new program designed to help address the ICT skills shortage facing the ACT and surrounding regions.
The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) and the Australian Computer Society Foundation (ACSF) today signed an agreement to provide scholarships for ANU students who will spend two days a week in local businesses while completing their degree.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Chubb, who is also Chair of the ACT Skills Commission, launched the program this morning with John Debrincat, Chair of the ACS Foundation.
“Everyone’s a winner with this work placement program,” Professor Chubb said. “Students get the chance to enhance their skills in a real workplace doing tasks relevant to their academic studies. They’ll be ready for the workforce when they graduate, with excellent contacts in the local ICT industry.”
“Employers will have access to the very bright and motivated students that ANU attracts, and develop relationships with students who may very well be future employees.”
“For Canberra and its surrounding regions, linking students to employers before they graduate will maximize the chance that ICT graduates see they have excellent career prospects here, and choose to stay in the capital.”
Professor Chubb said the program would be particularly attractive to students from rural and regional areas, going some way to offsetting the costs they face in moving to Canberra for university.
From 2007 the College will cluster classes for 3rd year students into three days of the week, leaving two consecutive days for placements. The program will be extended to 2nd year students in 2008.
Mr Debrincat said the ACSF had secured a number of industry partners to contribute the scholarship fund.
“We envisage providing up to 50 places in the program by the end of 2007 and 150 by the end of 2009.”
“The ACS Foundation has raised over $8 million and awarded over 550 scholarships since it was launched and is providing a very valuable service to the ICT industry, and in fact all industries considering the pervasive and vital nature of ICT these days.”
“Our experience providing similar Work Integrated Learning scholarships has proven the considerable benefits to the students, the donors and the industry. Students who participate in these programs are highly sought after by potential employers, as they graduate “work ready” and do not require the 3 to 6 months “on the job training” that many graduates require”, he said.
“One local ACT business, Wizard Technology, has already committed to 10 such scholarships, and there are many more to come”.
ANU Media Office: Jane O’Dwyer ...