A recent article published in the Swinburne University Magazine and included in the Sunday Age last week has reminded me of the unique and long term relationship we have shared with Swinburne University over the past 12 years.
In 2000, Fenwick Software first engaged with the Swinburne BIT (Bachelors of Information technology) Industry Based-Learning program as a new way to recruit high performing graduates. Our first student, now Principal Consultant, David Love, was no exception. The annual investment in the course from companies is paid to the students as a fortnightly scholarship, and in return, two students are allocated for 5 month work placements in their second and third year.
While this obviously provides an excellent opportunity for the students to gain valuable work experience, it enables us to effectively conduct a five-month interview process with two students each year, and if successful, have the first opportunity to offer the graduates part-time or full-time employment.
Recruitment mistakes and high turnover in our industry can prove extremely costly – not only the money spent on recruitment fees and training courses, but the internal time spent up-skilling in product knowledge, and building intimate knowledge of a client’s business. The Swinburne program has proven invaluable for Fenwick Software. In the past 12 years, over 50% of the students placed at Fenwick Software have been offered, and have accepted, full time positions. Six ex-BIT’s are currently working at Fenwick Software.
Our involvement with Swinburne continues to grow. Principal Consultant and Director, Andrew Ferguson, is chair of the Steering Committee for the BIT program, the industry committee that regularly meets to provide feedback and advice to ensure that subjects within the course maintain industry relevance. We have also worked closely with the Swinburne ICT Faculty in developing course material for the Information Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises in which Dynamics NAV is a focus.
We plan on building this relationship long into the future by supporting Swinburne in their effort to provide the most prestigious and industry relevant ICT course in Australia.