IT competition ‘The Graduate’ aims to plug skills gap

In an effort to give IT graduates a head start in winning their first role in work, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is once again running ‘The Graduate’ competition.

Tue, 5 Mar 2013In an effort to give IT graduates a head start in winning their first role in work, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is once again running ‘The Graduate’ competition.

The unique careers initiative was first launched in February 2011 and is run by the West Yorkshire Branch of the BCS. The competition aims to test the ‘soft skills’ of IT and computing sector students and graduates, in a manner similar to BBC TV’s The Apprentice.

Emma Davids, a programme manager at Yorkshire Water, and vice chair, West Yorkshire Branch BCS, tells Recruiter: “The whole concept of the competition is win-win – the students get experience of typical recruitment processes, personalised feedback on their performance, the chance to win some big prizes and fantastic networking opportunities; while companies who get involved get free advertising of their own recruitment campaigns and access to a variety of the country’s top IT graduates.”

Sponsors of ‘The Graduate’ include Capgemini, Deloitte, Gradcore, Graduates Yorkshire and Microsoft DreamSpark.

Davids says she started the competition, now in its third year, after finding that many graduate IT vacancies were going unfilled, simply down to a lack of quality of IT sector graduates. “When we investigated, we found that whilst these graduates were technically savvy, their soft skills were lacking. Students seemed unaware of what recruiters required of them – and that’s where we've stepped in to try to help.”

The closing date for applications is Monday, 29 April, with the grand final event on Monday, 3 June. Find out more about the competition, open to any IT or computing sector student or recent graduate nationally, via the website.

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