E-skills, the sector skills council, has launched a new placement scheme for students in Scotland.
The skills council plans to work with more than 250 employers across Scotland to create 750 work-based learning placements up to a year in length over the next three years.
The scheme will be funded by the Scottish Funding Council. E-skills will develop the Placement Programme with Edinburgh Napier University and ScotlandIS, Scotland’s ICT trade body.
The placements, which are set to start later this year, will be designed to meet the employer’s needs and form part of the student’s degree. Students will receive an employer-endorsed certificate at the end of their placement.
Karen Price, Chief Executive of e-skills UK said: “The e-skills Placement Programme will give undergraduates the opportunity to gain valuable experience and increase their employability skills to meet the needs of employers once they graduate.”
Employers supporting the programme include BT, Cisco, Oracle and Lumison. The employers will pay the students for their work, with students receiving around £10,000 to £14,000 a year for a 12-month placement.
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said:: “This placement scheme will significantly enhance Scotland’s ability to both attract the next generation of ICT professionals that our economy needs and, importantly, give us greater flexibility and choice in how skills are developed to meets the needs of the workplace in the future.”
Meanwhile, think tank Demos has urged the government to pay employers who offer quality internships to “disadvantaged” young people.
In a new report, Access All Areas, it recommends that employers would receive payment if their intern had found stable employment within a year of completing their placement.
According to Demos, the government would make significant savings by getting young people off welfare and into the workplace. It believed that paying employers up to £5,000 for every successful intern would be much less than the £120,000 that each young person not in employment, education or training, costs the state every year.
Julia Margo, director of Demos, said: “More important than paying people to intern is making sure they learn the skills they need. A quality internship that pays only expenses is far more valuable than one that pays people a low wage to do menial jobs.”
City University's head of the computing department, Dr Andrew Tuson, also recently urged companies to help promote IT careers by offering work experience at all levels, following a Royal Society report which revealed that fewer children were taking IT courses at school.
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