IT firm doubles third-level scholarships

20 Dec 2005

Independent computer services provider Datapac has revealed plans to double the number of work placement scholarships for next year based on a growing demand by third-level students for IT industry experience.

The company revealed the increase in scholarship numbers from six students a year to 12 as part of its sponsorship of all GAA third-level competitions, including the Datapac Sigerson and the Datapac Fitzgibbon Cups, the largest-ever sponsorship awarded for the promotion of Gaelic games at third level.

Datapac’s work placement scholarships targets students from a range of faculties in third-level colleges across Ireland. The successful students will be hired by Datapac for a defined period, the primary objective of which is to train and develop their skills for the employment market in the future.

The work placement scholarships are offered to students across all disciplines. Experience can be gained not only in technical work but also in sales, marketing, accounts and purchasing.

To qualify for one of the scholarships, applicants must have achieved a minimum standard in their academic studies to date. Applications will be assessed by Datapac and scholarships are then awarded to students in their final or penultimate year. Universities, institutes of technology and other third-level providers throughout Ireland north and south will participate in the programme.

“Due to the success of the 2004 work placement scholarships, we have decided to double the number for 2005,” explained David Laird, managing director of Datapac.

“Last year we provided six students with job placements, which provided them with that all-important first reference experience. When we started collecting feedback from last year’s placement programme, we found that students were enthusiastic about the programme as they felt that despite the growing number of jobs available, candidates were still required to have some previous experience. Students also found the idea of a placement programme, which provided them with training and a solid overview of the sector very appealing.”

The news was welcomed by Dr Ruaidhri Neavyn, director of Institute of Technology Carlow, who said: “The academic and personal development of our students is paramount to us and understandably to industry.”

Pictured: Seán Kelly, president of the GAA; David Laird, managing director of Datapac; and Leona Tector, head of installations at Datapac; and Leona Tector, head of installations at Datapac and 2005 All Stars Ladies Football winner

By John Kennedy