Food for Thought – Idea to help Unemployed, Students gain Experience in IT


Over the past couple of days I have been thinking a lot regarding some of the comments that were made by the people who decided to riot in various cities all over England. The comments that caught my attention the most were those that were mentioning their reason for taking part was because they could not get any employment.

Now, personally I feel after all the damage they have caused they don’t deserve to be employed and need to be punished for what they have done. I know people who have gone to college or university have been saying for a while now, that they struggle to get jobs because they do not have any real life experience in their chosen career.

What I am going to go through below is similar for most areas of employment but as I specialise in IT I am going to base it around this career.

Starting with a bit of Real-Life Information, I started my career in IT working in a Secondary School but before I was brought on FULL TIME as a member of staff I actually worked voluntary in the first instance, on the basis I would be getting some valuable experience and even though I was not being paid for the hours that I worked the knowledge that I would gain over the course of the 6 months would be extremely valuable to me in the future. In the end my 6months of volunteering paid off as it enabled me to be given the opportunity to work Full Time at the same school.

Without going into too much detail on that front I feel that because of the effort I put into working at this school it opened up new opportunities for me that not many people get at my age. I believe that I would not be where I am today if it was not for those 3-4 years I spent working in that environment.

So I have been thinking about what someone could do to maybe help people whom come out of College with Certifications or University Students who come out of University with Degree’s etc.

Everyone knows about Apprentices which provide students the experience they need on top of their qualifications but this is not always the case as they don’t always give them the experience they require as they generally get to watch and don’t really get much hands on or learn anything new to expand their knowledge (some circumstances this may not be the case).

My point behind this post is to basically express a thought that I had recently, that may or may not have been covered before by someone else and the thought goes something along the lines of this;

If someone was to setup a company or organisation that was created to provide students that have gratuated from college or university to enable them to get a certain level of experience, and I am thinking from an IT background here so I will put forward this from an IT Support perspective.

The Company or Organization would be setup and would ONLY allow people whom have recently gained qualifications from college or degrees from university to be part of such, if each person was given a 6 month term of work to help and support local small business or/ non-profit organizations it would give them 6 months of real life working experience that granted to the end-user may not be the Premium support they could receive if they went to a Small Business that deals with this business on a day to day basis, but with that in mind the people whom would be on the end of a phone do have the knowledge so it’s not as if they would be talking to someone whom does not have any knowledge within that area.

I would not say this would be fit for Small/Medium business but it may be very useful to non-profit organizations, charities and home users.

I personally would like to see people be committed to this as if it was a FULL TIME JOB so the attitude towards it should be the same. It may be the case that they may not earn much money from doing this if anything at all, but the knowledge and experience they could gain is priceless in this current climate and will allow them to strive to better things in the future.

It is not something I have looked into too deeply at the moment myself, some funding may be out there that could help support this kind of project but I am not looking at this to make money, or provide people with a professional IT salary I am looking at this to help genuine people get the experience that would enable them to stand out at more in a job seeking process.

We all know from recent media articles, the UK will be making available a fair number of jobs in the IT sector so this would be fantastic for people whom may be part of such project. Media Article

So, with that in mind it obviously can not entirely work with people working voluntary as it would require experienced IT professionals to also be involved to help guide the volunteers through the day to day workload. A lot of planning and systems will need to be put in place to ensure a high level of support is provided to end-users.

I would not have covered everything in this one post, and some people may read this and think “yeah, like this is going to happen” but I think with the right attitude and determination you will find people who would back this idea and I feel it is these people that work well for businesses.

I just wanted to initially create a discussion regarding this and get peoples thoughts, so any feedback is welcome 🙂

James.

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