The New Zealand Computer Society has launched ICT-Connect, a programme to promote ICT as a career to school students.
A working group will get the scheme up and running, NZCS CEO Paul Matthews says in a statement released today.
“It’s absolutely pivotal that we get the message through to kids when they’re still deciding their future direction”, Matthews says.
“Our profession is exciting, challenging, flexible and well-paid, yet still there are many kids out there that don’t even know what ICT is.
“It’s time we address this with the next generation once and for all,” Matthews says.
ICT-Connect will operate in up to three regional centres, alongside other related regional initiatives.
It will involve local ICT professionals “adopting a school” and helping the schools by providing “inspirational presentations about the true nature of ICT, and, where asked, assist teachers with course planning”, according to the NZCS statement.
Matthews says “one key objective of the programme is to provide teaching professionals with a more robust connection to the wider ICT community.”
He says “a wider long-term objective is to help deal with the negative stereotypical perceptions of ICT, which is a major contributor to the ICT skills shortage.”
The working group that will set up ICT-Connect will be made up of leading figures from the ICT industry, government and education sector.
The members will be announced early next month.