Top organizations keen on new IT talent

Von Siobhan McBride

Australia"s largest financial and telecommunications companies are embarking on innovative career programs in a bid to attract the best and brightest graduates.

Keen to retain and foster new talent, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ Bank) has put in place a program to develop "soft" skills such as presentation, communication and leadership.

ANZ is one of the largest, graduate recruiters in Australia with 23 IT graduates coming on board in February 2006 for an 18-month internship.

They will be rotated across three departments during this time, an ANZ spokesperson said, adding that the bank has been increasing its graduate intake each year.

"We recognize the need to recruit high calibre people into the organization; we are also participating in the recently launched Women in ICT Network," the spokesperson added.

Going direct to the source, the National Australia Bank Ltd. sponsors both Monash University"s Bachelor of Business Systems and Swinburne University of Technology"s Bachelor of Information Technology.

Called the Industry-based Learning Program, it involves second and third year technology students undertaking six-month placements at NAB for a student internship.

NAB also has mainframe traineeships, sourcing entry-level students for roles specific to the bank"s legacy and core applications.

An NAB spokesperson said these programs bring in between 40 and 50 students on traineeships throughout the year.

The insurance industry is also getting involved in fostering new IT talent, with Insurance Australia Group (IAG) keen to promote its graduate program.

A spokesperson for the group claimed the organization takes in large numbers of applications from IT graduates every year.

"IAG has a comprehensive graduate recruitment program, which caters to the many different divisions within IAG," the spokesperson said. "The program is an important part of cultivating and retaining top-quality people."

And a big percentage of these "top quality people" are IT graduates.

"Technology services makes up the largest proportion of graduate applications received and graduate employment positions accepted," the spokesperson said.

"We place our technology services graduates in both Sydney and Melbourne."

As for the Telcos, both Telstra and Optus run graduate programs, with IT graduates being among the main disciplines for recruiting.

In 2004 Optus accepted five IT graduates into its organization, but due to restructuring this year in the IT group, the organization did not accept an intake of IT graduates in 2005.

However, a spokesperson for Optus did state that the IT graduate program will recommence next year.

"We also carry out IT training throughout the year, specific to the particular projects that we"re working on," the Optus spokesperson said.