[LINK] IT Students paid to learn to beat skills crisis

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Oct 13 12:30:28 AEST 2006

This morning I attended the signing of an agreement between the 
Australian National University (ANU) and the Australian Computer 
Society Foundation (ACSF) to provide scholarships for ICT students to 
spend two days a week in local businesses while completing their 
degree. Students can contact the ANU about the courses 
<http://cs.anu.edu.au/education.php> and employers the ACSF 

Along with the new public service scheme for ICT Apprentices 
<http://www.tomw.net.au/technology/it/egovernment/skills.shtml>, this 
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 02 6125 5001 / 0416 249 231

Small blurry photo of the signing from my camera phone at 
The ANU media people will have better photos.

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                http://www.tomw.net.au/
Director, ACS Communications Tech Board   http://www.acs.org.au/ctb/
Visiting Fellow, ANU      Blog: http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/atom.xml  

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