ICT Connect 'biggest initiative outside government'

School outreach programme run by the Institute of IT Professionals goes live in Dunedin

The ICT Connect school outreach programme, run by the Institute of IT Professionals, has been enthusiastically accepted in Dunedin, the first region to go live with the scheme, says IITP CEO Paul Matthews.

The project is financed by ICT-industry organisations to the tune of $300,000, making it the single biggest ICT initiative in New Zealand outside government, Matthews told guests at an IITP breakfast in July.

The programme involves experienced ICT practitioners visiting schools to talk about their work and what it means to have an ICT career, and aims to get students “really inspired” about working in ICT, Matthews says. It’s hoped this will result in more school-leavers deliberately embarking on ICT as a chosen career, rather than “falling into it”, as many now do, he says.

“We have eight of the city’s 11 high schools involved, which was our target number for the first phase in Dunedin,” Matthews says. “These are: Taieri College; Queen’s High School; Logan Park High School; Kavanagh College; Kaikorai Valley College; John McGlashan College; Columba College and Bayfield High School.”

Actual school visits in Dunedin will start in early August.

Nationwide, there are more than 100 schools “keen to participate”, Matthews says, and well over 100 ICT people have volunteered. “We’re very happy with that number, given the programme is new and hasn’t even fully launched yet,” he says.

The next region to start the scheme will be Wellington.

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