I have been approached by a company, The Somerville Group, who is interested in initiating an "apprenticeship" arrangement for the IT industry, and who have invited CSE to consider participation in this program.
Attached is the DRAFT document, outlining the proposal. Because it is a draft document, we have the opportunity to make suggestions that might make the program more suitable for our students.
In a phone conversation with John Adams from Somerville, John indicated that the proposed pattern of work/study would be 3 full days work and 2 days (plus evening, weekends) study over 4 years - encompassing an equivalent study load of 2 years full-time.
Would this be a manageable load for our students? You will notice in the draft document refers to TAFE and "IoT" (which I take to mean "Institutions of Training"). In the phone conversation, John indicated that the company will either go with TAFE students, or with university students, but not both, to avoid "political" problems concerning the different abilities of students and depth of courses etc.
Would it be possible under current timetabling arrangments for students doing 3rd and 4th year subjects to complete their subjects within this 3 days work/2 days study arrangement?
Would the students on this program need to take some classes in the evenings, and would this be possible?
Would it be necessary to re-schedule some classes to fit in with this arrangement, and would this be desireable/tolerable/feasible?
Is the proposed work - 2 years "basic skills training" followed by 2 years specialist training - relevant to our students? John said that most of the people they have working currently are 4-year qualified engineers. The Certification (eg MCSE) courses proposed for the second lot of 2 years would be done during university vacation periods so as not to clash with the students' studies here.
The current proposal is to take students into this program once they had completed 2 years of full-time study. This would effectively extend the engineering degrees from 4 to 6 years, which (given the level of remuneration of the program) could be quite acceptable to some (many?) students. I don't think that this program, as outlined so far, would work for students doing a 3-year Comp Sci course. In fact, John was very surprised that a computer science degree could take only 3 years. Since the final outcome is a position as an "Engineer", perhaps this program needs to be limited to students doing the engineering courses? If so, would it suit both CE and SE? Do people have some other suggestions?
If we go with this, does it need to be formalised on our part, or do we simply approach it on an ad hoc basis and allow selected students to enrol part-time?
What other issues are there?
The proposed start date for this program is December 1999, with an initial intake of about 5 students. It is likely to ramp up to about 25 students over the next 2 years.
What sort of timeframe could we get back to Somerville in? Given that they want to get started by December, any initial comments or suggestions that I could feed back to them would be greatly appreciated.
>>From JohnA at somerville.com.au Mon Oct 18 16:53:14 1999 >From: "John Adams"
>To: >Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 16:55:59 +1000 >Subject: Fwd: Traineeship Documentation >Mime-Version: 1.0 > >Hi Carol > >Please find attached the DRAFT plan for the IT Traineeship that The >Somerville Group is intending to implement. > >All suggestions greatfully accepted. > >Can you please phone me with your coments. > >We intend to start this program by December 1999. > > > >Thanks in advance > >John Adams > >Ph 02 9901 4466 > >Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 16:26:16 +1000 >From: "Craig Somerville" >To: , > "John Adams" >Subject: Traineeship Documentation >Mime-Version: 1.0 >Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="=_1C452382.16771B69" > >Hi Gents, > >Copy of my Traineeship proposal. > >Please add coments as this is only the first draft. > >Thanks > > >CJS