International ICT students get help finding jobs down-under

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International ICT students get help finding jobs down-under

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is launching the Professional Year (PYear) program, which aims to help international ICT graduates find jobs in the Australian IT industry and obtain citizenship.

Initially, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship approached the ACS with concern that, although they had sufficient technical skills, international ICT students were not getting jobs in Australia, despite the skill shortage.

“One of the issues we’d noticed is their inability to fit into the Australian business culture and to speak the business language,” said Bob Hart, manager of professional standards and development for ACS.

“None of the students are native English speakers, and although they have the IT abilities they need, we want to make them more comfortable with the culture of these organisations.”

The PYear Program sets to serve as a bridge between university and the working world, and to better acquaint international students with the standards of the Australian workplace.

The program includes 12 months of practical training and workshops, a 12 week internship, and networking opportunities within the ICT industry through an automatic membership with the ACS.

Monash Professional and Swinburne University are the first two accredited universities to partner with PYear, but Hart says there are about six more currently in the application process.

To qualify for the program, students must have graduated with a degree in IT from an accredited university, and must have spent at least two years of their course studying in Australia.

They will learn how to take on administrative and leadership roles in the ICT industry, including how to chair a meeting, write reports, and live up to the ethical and legal standards required in the Australian workforce.

Students who complete the course may receive 10 points on the General Skilled Migration Points test required for permanent residency.

Though the program does not automatically grant the students with citizenship, Hart says one of the program’s primary goals is to secure jobs for all participants.

“We don’t want them to just stay in Australia, we want them to stay and operate in the industry as trained IT professionals,” he said.

“We may have to educate employers as well, to let them know that these people do have the ability and skills to work well in the Australian industry.”

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