Saturday, May 09, 2009

The IT Graduate Internship Program (GIP) takes off

One of the long-running complaints voiced by IT companies in Jordan has been that graduates of IT universities and colleges are not adequately prepared for careers in the software industry. Universities always countered this arguement saying they wanted to build relationships with the sector and required more on-the-job ‘internship’, for the students.

There seemed to be a bit a deadlock in these positions, mainly because companies didn’t want to spend the time or incur the costs of training students who may or may not return, and who cannot work the hours required to produce; while academics in universities, despite their good intentions, simply could not significantly change curricula and coursework to focus on more practical skills or industry-level training.

Finally, it seems we have a program in place to solve this issue.

The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT), in cooperation with int@j, has launched the “Graduates Internship Programme”, whereby the government subsidizes 50 percent of the salary of newly employed graduates in the first 12 months, and 25 percent in the following 6 months, leading up to a total of 18 months of subsidized employment, in addition to providing those graduates with ‘soft skills’ training.

This has opened the way for companies to step in to benefit from this opportunity.
Already, one of the country’s largest software developers, Estarta Solutions has joined the Graduate Internship Program, whereby Estarta will provide a number of interns with on job training in their respective fields of specialization

An agreement signed between ESKADENIA Software, another large software development company, and Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT) even takes matters several steps further.

ESKADENIA will establish working offices within the PSUT campus for the development, management and operation of software products and services, in close cooperation with the students and the academia. The facility accommodates around 30 full-time students and employees. There will also be a number of students and graduates working at the ESKADENIA head office on on-going projects.

MoICT and int@j must be applauded for this program, which will help achieve a national ICT strategy objective of increasing direct employment in the sector reaching 35,000 jobs by 2011.

It’s good to see positive movement in the sector, and such a cooeprative and action-oriented approach can solve other pending issues facing IT deveopment in Jordan. The future look brighter when we all parties work together. Long may it continue! n

zanasser@gmail.com

1 Comments:

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