Comtrade’s EDIT Summer School striving to narrow the talent gap

29 Jul 2016

Comtrade’s EDIT Summer Schools have the STEM talent gap in their sights.

There is a massive talent gap in STEM. It is one that keeps growing, and one that urgently needs to be filled.

There are numerous solutions to the talent gap touted on a regular basis – encourage more young women to pursue careers in STEM, teach coding in schools, change tech’s brand – and all have merit. But perhaps none will be more successful than the most simple: just train the talent yourself.

Future Human

That’s the route IT solutions and software-engineering services company Comtrade has taken with its EDIT Summer Schools, now entering their 20th year.

The summer schools aim to provide young software developers and future IT professionals with the opportunity to develop their skills through actual, hands-on work and prepare them for careers in IT.

In this way, it enables students to gain deeper insights in the functionality of a company and provide the opportunity to experience what it is like to participate in a real project in the business world.

This year, EDIT was held in seven different locations across four different European countries. It was also the first year an EDIT Summer School was held in Ireland.

The Irish programme – which took place at Tallaght Training Centre, Dublin, from 11 to 22 July – gave students the opportunity to get hands-on experience building a Facebook-integrated booking bot for airlines.

A cynical person would say that these summer schools are just a cheap way to crowdsource solutions, but that’s not the case. The projects the participants are working on are indeed real-life projects, but they’re ones that the Comtrade team has already found solutions to.

While EDIT Summer School students are not guaranteed a role in Comtrade upon graduation, the cross-industry skills that they pick up from the two-week intensive course will stand them in good stead for any future roles.

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Main image via Shutterstock

Kirsty Tobin
By Kirsty Tobin

Kirsty Tobin served as careers editor of Silicon Republic from 2015 up to August 2017. When she was younger, she had a dream where she started and won a fight with a T-Rex, so she’s pretty sure she kicked butt at this, too. Passions include eating all the cake, watching more TV than is healthy and sassy comebacks.

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