Dubbed Students to Business (S2B), the initiative has been designed to make it easier for anyone starting out on a career in the IT sector to find out about potential jobs.
Interested IT graduates and students can upload their CVs to the portal together with a summary of their skills and experience. These can be searched by member companies which can post details of jobs and internship positions.
Searches can be done for specific skills or qualifications, making it easier to match candidates with particular positions. It is also hoped that universities will use the service to monitor demand for particular skills and fine tune their courses to match.
According to Microsoft the S2B portal will initially focus on technical positions, however it will later be expanded to cover areas such as sales and marketing.
Microsoft Australia’s developer evangelism manager Roger Lawrence says the initiative is an attempt to address the skills shortage challenge that is being experienced within the domestic IT sector.
He says Microsoft is in a unique position because it has contact with a large number of employers as well as students.
"We recognise that we have a lot of partnerships with organisations who are desperately seeking people with skills," he says. "At the same time we have contact with students who have those skills."
“The S2B portal is a direct link between graduates and unique entry-level and internship positions,” he says. “Students have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and businesses can tap into a fresh pool of up and comers.”
Lawrence says Microsoft has no desire to become a recruitment agency or compete with companies offering that kind of service.
"In some markets where S2B is already running, Microsoft has actually partnered with local recruitment companies," he says. "We haven't done that in Australia yet, but that's not to say that we won't."
The S2B initiative was first started by Microsoft in Italy and has since been expanded to cover some 28 countries. More information is available at www.microsoft.com/studentstobusiness.