The initiative aims to tackle the skills shortage in the Scottish IT industry and recently secured funding for another five years.
Speaking about the success of the programme to date, Sally Smith, project director of e-Placement Scotland, said: “We have all worked incredibly hard to get to this point and we are grateful to the organisations across the country who have supported our mission over the last five years and made these placements possible. With their help we have exceeded expectations and helped students across Scotland’s universities and colleges take their first steps to a successful career in IT.
“Scotland has a thriving IT sector but it is reliant on fresh talent coming into the industry for its future growth. These placements are valuable for everyone involved and I believe Scotland’s economy will be reaping the benefits for years to come.”
e-Placement Scotland has worked with more than 500 companies over the last five years. Participating organisations include Morgan Stanley, Scottish Government and JP Morgan as well as a range of promising start-ups. It also works closely with universities and colleges across the country in order to engage the most talented and ambitious students.
The programme offers employers the opportunity to grow their own tried and tested talent at a fraction of traditional recruitment costs. It also helps smaller companies who otherwise may not have access to recruitment resources to attract talented graduates. In turn, students gain essential ‘on the job’ experience within their chosen sector.
“The wide range of placements on offer opened my eyes to opportunities I wouldn’t have considered,” explained Ally Weir, a recent alumnus of the e-Placement Scotland scheme. “My narrow view of possible employers was widened by the breadth of those on offer. The site’s standardised job description made it easier for me to see if I had the necessary skills and find areas I needed to brush up on. The application process is quick and simple, getting your application to those who need it.”
The organisers marked this major landmark with a reception at the Scottish Parliament for employers and student ambassadors on 26 March. The event, which was sponsored by Clare Adamson MSP, featured speeches from Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, and Sally Smith, project director of e-Placement Scotland.
Scottish Government Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment Annabelle Ewing said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to providing a seamless programme of support and advice for the Digital sector and we welcome the collaborative work by industry and the education sector to help address the skills shortage in this area.
“I am especially impressed by efforts to find more opportunities for women and young people, who are currently underrepresented in the Digital sector, to move into this exciting, developing area.”
e-Placement Scotland was established via the Scottish Funding Council to provide IT students with paid, quality placements in the IT sector during their course of study, to enhance employability on graduation. All placements are paid, with competitive pro-rata salaries offered from £12000 to £20,0000.
The e-Placement Scotland Academy is for students who are currently on placement, or who have completed their placement and have either returned to study or who have entered the job market following graduation. The Academy provides members with opportunities to network both online and at regional and national events, and allows members to continue an association with e-Placement Scotland beyond the duration of their placement. It also provides members with the opportunity to carry out occasional work as Ambassadors of e-Placement Scotland.
For more information:
Lucy Smith or Rosheen Murray
Hot Tin Roof PR
0131 225 7880
Photo credit: Simon Forsythe