New Era Technology, has recently completed the first round of a new student internship program with the support of Techtorium and the Ministry of Education (MoE),
This internship provides year 12, 13 and 14 students experience in the IT industry while offering learning pathways through Techtorium.
The program’s first round launched in May with two students from Alfriston College and Green Bay High School. The students started a six-week-long internship in Auckland, where they were placed in one of New Era’s client schools: Waitakere College, Tongaroa College or St Mary’s College under the mentorship of a New Era Technology Desktop Network Support Technician.
After running internship programs in the past, New Era believed that students would benefit from an internship that combined IT education and ICT industry experience.
Margaret Moala, Head of Tertiary Pathways at Techtorium agreed and said that in the current secondary school community it was clear that students are missing the link between IT education and IT industry realities.
“Through the internship, our high school students can make that tangible connection between what is taught in the classroom space and how that knowledge and skills are applied in the industry – an experience beneficial to the development of these young people in the tech space present and future,” Moala said.
During the internship, students learned how technical services interact with users and gained knowledge of all aspects of IT – from networking and software, to setting up hardware devices. The aim was to equip students with a wide range of skills, so they understood what it takes to work in the ICT sector. Students gained skills in not only IT, but also soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, and time management.
This internship aimed to highlight potential ICT career pathways to a range of students by providing them with relevant skills and experience in the industry. According to Ashley Addy, New Era’s HR Coordinator, one of the students stated that they are leaning more towards a career in IT after completing the internship.
Margaret Moala also outlined the benefits for groups of young people who may not have considered a career or further study in IT.
“This IT education attained and directly tied with the New Era internship is a beneficial collaboration that will excite more young women, Māori, and Pasifika students to choose IT as further tertiary study options. The students will share these experiences with their families, friends, and peers at school, which is great for all parties involved. The students can see for themselves through the present internship experience how feasible and long-term it can be for them,” Moala said.
Ashley Addy stated that she could see changes in the students’ confidence over the course of the six weeks.
It was a great experience getting to see the confidence boost from the students by the end of the internship. With newly learned skills, the internship cemented an IT career path for some students and for others who were not sure, they are now exploring the possibility,” Addy said.
One student said that “Steve (the New Era Technical Team Leader) helped me realize that my soft skills are better than I thought, which has made me more confident.”
As the IT service provider, New Era’s job was to provide a range of real-world experiences for the students. This includes interview experience, mentorship from a Desktop Network Support Technician, helping teach a range of hard and soft skills, providing a New Era uniform for students to wear to the internship, an exit interview, a certificate on completion, and contact information that students can use as a reference on their CV or to contact for future employment opportunities. Techtorium also provided the students with a free training program for the duration of the most recent school holidays.
New Era Technology is committed to helping students discover new career paths within the IT sector. After the success of the first term, New Era Technology, Techtorium and the MoE have launched the second round in Term Three, this time expanding to 16 students across eight schools.
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