Small- and medium-sized businesses in Hertfordshire are offering work placements to students on IT foundation degrees as part of a programme to help employers fill IT vacancies and give students practical experience.
Students on two-year IT foundation degrees accredited by the University of Hertfordshire have completed a range of real-life projects for local businesses, ranging from redesigning databases to building websites and computerising manual processes.
The degrees, which combine business and IT skills, have been taken up by mature students looking for a change of career, as well as young people preparing to enter the workforce for the first time.
Sarah Flynn, a senior lecturer at the university, said: “There are a lot of small businesses in Hertfordshire that lack IT skills. About 99% of local businesses have less then 200 employees, but they employ three quarters of the population.”
By offering work placements, local businesses are able to build links with potential new recruits and benefit from the skills the students bring into the organisation, she added.