ACS to help redundant staff in Queensland

Chris Bridge, Queensland branch chair, said the program came about when ACS members voiced concerns about ‘displaced’ staff and helping them find other employment opportunities

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) will trial a new six-week course for redundant staff in Queensland to help IT professionals find new jobs.

A total of 55 IT staff at Brisbane City Council lost their jobs recently after the council decided to outsource their roles to Indian outsourcer HCL.

In early 2012, Westpac layed off 119 technology-related jobs across Australia, including Queensland.

Linda Trevor, executive general manager of Clarius’ ICT brand, also said in May last year that costs were being cut in the public and private sectors in Queensland, resulting in a decline in the need for project managers.

The redundancies have meant some IT staff have found themselves seeking new employment, which the ACS is trying to help with its ‘Inspiring your next career’ program.

The program aims to help IT professionals with more basic skills such as improving their CV, job hunting with LinkedIn and interview skills.

It will also aim to teach professionals how to set up and engage as an ICT contractor and improving their qualifications through further education and training. The program will also include networking events.

Chris Bridge, Queensland branch chair, said the program came about when ACS members voiced concerns about ‘displaced’ staff and helping them find other employment opportunities.

“We certainly are aware that there is a reasonable amount of displacement in the industry. There’s a hell of a lot of change going on,” Bridge told CIO.

“This particular program seeks to identify those staff that have been displaced in whatever way in terms of helping them identify what skills they might need for their future roles and looks at ways they might be able to help adapt to future changes in their career.”

The course will be free for ACS members and $60 for non-members, with course content provided by existing senior ACS members on a volunteer basis.

“[There] was a discussion amongst our Queensland branch executive that we have a lot to offer in terms of the association to our members. It was about seeking how do we continue that and add member value in terms of those members that are part of the information communications industry,” he said.

“It was by unanimous agreement that we could be using and utilising fellows of the society – senior members of the society – in ways to contribute back in terms of their knowledge expertise and experience to not only to ACS members but also some of our non-ACS members.”

The ACS will trial the six-week course and measure how successful it has been based on feedback from attendees.

Bridge said while he’s not sure how many IT professionals will sign up for the course, there could be anywhere from 50 to 300.

“The measure of success will be a level of satisfaction that people have been able to find assistance either through the mentorship program that we would look to facilitate the knowledge transfer, the engagement [and] the networking opportunities,” Bridge said.

“I think the success is going to be measured a little differently by different people in terms of what they were looking for out of the program. But from the association’s standpoint, the success will certainly be around member retention – that members that are part of the ACS see that they are getting value from the society which they belong to.”

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

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Tags australian computer society (ACS)

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