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Thursday, 01 October 2009 08:56

Retraining grads to get them 'work-ready'

Cognizant of a recent ACS survey which found that IT graduates in Australia were technically proficient but not ‘work-ready', Dimension Data has implemented a training program for new graduates which gives them professional technical training and hands-on industry experience at the same time, to better prepare them for going into the workforce.

According to Dimension Data’s national HR director, Kellie Reeves, the company’s IT graduate program is “defying the odds by giving new graduates a strong foundation for an IT career”,  through “both professional technical training and hands-on industry experience - and it’s the real-world skills and ‘work-readiness’ which are hardest to come by in people fresh out of uni.”

Reeves says the program offers graduates one year with the company, “with various development initiatives, such as coaching, professional development training, and mentoring to develop a specialisation within a specific line of business, such as connectivity, security, Microsoft solutions or services.”

The recent ACS survey highlighted that 70 percent  of IT graduates wished they’d undertaken more work experience while at university, which the ACS says makes it clear “there is no better way of learning the requirements of the workplace than actually being there and doing the work.”

As reported by iTWire , when the survey was released last month, the ACS Foundation’s chairman, John Debrincat, stressed the value that employers place on graduates having relevant work experience, and he said that “many undergraduates have a sense of urgency about finishing their time at university. They don’t recognise how relevant work experience will actually accelerate their careers and ensure a more satisfying start.” 

At Dimension Data, Kellie Reeves says that with a 95% retention rate and high-quality candidates, the company’s technical graduate intake program has been a “big success,” and she says it is giving IT graduates “the deep industry experience they’re hungry for, as well as a dynamic and flexible work culture that Gen-Y’ers are seeking in an employer.” 

According to Reeves, the program provides graduates with valuable experience in working on big IT projects “by going out to client sites, seeing implementations in action in a large corporate environment, and working with cutting-edge technologies,” and she adds, “many graduates are well on their way to getting the real-world experience that forms such an important part of this program.”

Reeves also said that the training program includes robust training plans for graduates, with technical training at DDLS (Dimension Data Learning Solutions) and vendor training (including certification), and that graduates have the opportunity to continue their studies while also working, and the chance to “work with some of the best in their field through access to mentors in the form of senior staff who buddy our graduates in a supportive team environment.”

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