Australia's peak ICT bodies sign scholarship agreement

AIIA, ACS Foundation sign “Memorandum of Understanding” to support industry integration of ACS scholarship recipients.

With National ICT Careers Week being held across the country this week, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Australian Computing Society Foundation (ACSF) to actively support the ACSF scholarship program.

The partnership was announced Thursday at a ceremony with the NSW Minister for Youth, Linda Burney.

AIIA CEO Ian Birks said in a statement that the agreement will see the AIIA and its member companies actively supporting the ACSF's scholarship programs for people studying ICT related courses.

"I am very pleased that the ambitions of high-quality ICT graduates will be available directly to our company members through this partnership," Birks said.

Birks believes creating stronger ties between industry and ICT's higher education sector is an important way for the ICT industry to ensure the continued relevance of graduate skills to the requirements of the industry.

"The ACSF has excellent ties with the education sector, and this is a particularly important way that we will continue to develop the alignment of industry demands with ICT curricula," he said.

According to the ACS, the Foundation has awarded over 900 scholarships to students and currently manages more than 300 scholarships annually, making it the largest foundation of its type in Australia.

Over 80 percent of ACS Foundation scholarship students achieve a Distinction average or better in their subjects, while around 35 percent achieve High Distinctions.

ACS Foundation board chairman, John Debrincat, said the Foundation ensures students are able to learn the practical application of ICT skills in the workplace.

"By increasing funding opportunities for industry to contribute to education programs, the Foundation aims to create a highly skilled workforce, able to effectively access research and industry-specific training," he said.

The announcement comes in the middle of National ICT Careers Week, in which more than 200 education institutions, government organisations and industry bodies are putting on over 100 events and activities for school children across the country to demonstrate the dynamic range of jobs available in the ICT industry.

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