NEC said its IT Apprenticeship Hub would expand the company’s "long partnership" with the Northern Territory Government to develop ICT skills and employment opportunities in the Territory. The programme's aim is to connect students with technical expertise and resources within NEC Australia, providing students with new pathways to employment at NEC Australia or within the ICT industry in the Territory. It's also designed to develop the skill-base within NT to support local IT businesses.
Beginning in 2014, the IT Apprenticeship Hub 12-month programme will aim to produce a minimum of 50 ‘work ready’ apprentices over the next five years. A minimum of half of the apprentices will be young, indigenous Australians, helping improve employment choices for students from indigenous communities in NT.
Prior to launching IT Apprenticeship Hub, NEC Australia said it will select 10 candidates for the NT Student Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT) programme. These students will be registered with Australian Apprenticeships NT and will then join a 12-month structured training and education programme.
That programme combines technical skills development at NEC’s Darwin Service Delivery Centre and a higher formal education qualification in the form of a Certificate II, III or IV in IT at the Charles Darwin University (CDU).
An apprentice is expected to spend two days a week training at NEC’s Service Delivery Centre and one day a week at CDU over the 12 months, and NEC said resources supporting the recently awarded $34.6m Department of Education ICT services contract will provide a rotating programme that includes 15 weeks within NEC field services, 14 weeks on the NEC service desk and 10 weeks in NEC engineering.
Apprentices will undergo a one week induction on commencement with each department and are assigned a qualified technical support buddy who will help them during each placement.
“IT Apprenticeship Hub leverages our role as a major supplier of IT services to the Northern Territory Government to deliver value back to the communities we operate in," said NEC Australia managing director Alan Hyde.
"The programme is designed not only to deliver direct benefits to participating students, but also to develop a training framework and workplace culture that ensures NEC Australia staff can impart knowledge to apprentices effectively."
Upon completion of the programme, apprentices may be offered continued placement as a School Based Apprentice, a full time Traineeship, a full time position at NEC Australia or become available for other Northern Territory IT businesses to employ.
The new programme builds on NEC Australia’s School-Based Apprenticeship and Indigenous Traineeship programme awhich has operated in partnership with the Northern Territory’s Structured Work Placement programme since 2007.