A newly signed agreement between Box Hill TAFE and global IT organization NIIT Technologies will provide ICT students with the opportunity to gain industry experience in advance of graduation.
With today's competitive job market demanding practical workplace skills from new employees, work experience will be a foot in the door for Box Hill Institute students.
"It's well proven that the biggest challenge for students in getting their first real job is having work experience, to prove to employers that they have the right level of competency and understand the work environment," said John Price, who heads up NIIT Technologies in Australia.
Students will be involved in high-level database programming, application development and systems development at NIIT, from the initial planning stages to actual development work. Depending on their skill levels, Price expects that some students will be assigned small sections of software for development under the supervision of a mentor.
Projects will be advertised as opportunities arise, and students will be expected to apply as they would for a job. Applicant selection will be based on academic records and demonstrated communication skills. The NIIT placements, which are expected to last up to four months, will count towards students' academic credit.
"This really is an internship in a truer sense, where NIIT will identify live projects with deadlines and normal workplace things," said John Italiano, senior executive director of Box Hill Institute.
It is the joint hope of both NIIT and Box Hill Institute that the success of their partnership will prompt other ICT businesses to form similar alliances, to make the industry more accessible to new graduates.
"From our perspective it's more something we'd like to give to the industry," Price said. "We see it as a demonstration that we can, as a local employer, make a contribution to the Australian ICT industry."