'Sexy summer jobs' evening

Dunedin students will be lining up for a chance of landing a sexy summer job this week.

However, despite what some might think, the red-hot positions in question will be all about the tapping of keyboards.

The Dunedin ICT Business Cluster - a partnership between the Dunedin City Council and the city's 160 information and communication technology (ICT) companies - is seeking applicants for its second annual internship programme.

The programme is aimed at matching information technology students with Dunedin ICT companies willing to take on paid or unpaid summer interns, to help fill skills gaps within companies and keep talented students in the city.

As part of the recruitment process, the cluster had organised a "sexy summer jobs" evening to be held at the University of Otago's St David lecture theatre on Wednesday, council business development adviser Graham Strong said.

He hoped more than 100 students would attend, meeting representatives from 15 companies in a speed dating-style event.

The cluster had secured a $75,500 grant from the council's industry project fund to help pay for at least 40 internships - and possibly more - with companies also sharing the cost of the placements, he said.

Already, 10 interns had been placed with companies in the build-up to the event, and up to 25 more placements were expected to be secured as a result of Wednesday's matchmaking, he said.

More could be taken on in the months that followed, depending on demand, he said.

The programme - organised in conjunction with the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic - was in its second year.

It was supported by a $45,000 grant from the council's industry project fund last year, and secured a further $75,500 grant earlier this year, Mr Strong said.

Last summer's inaugural programme attracted 80 applicants and placed 32 of them, with 24 gaining paid internships and eight unpaid positions.

That led to 17 students securing paid jobs at the end of the programme, ranging from full-time work to short-term contracts, adding an estimated $805,000 to the city's GDP.

The cluster and companies shared the cost of the interns, with the 15 companies able to take up to three interns each, supported by funding of up to $2300 per intern from the council grant, he said.

The internships could last four months or longer, with some companies matching the council funding and others paying more, Mr Strong said.

The aim was to reduce the need for council funding over time, as confidence in the quality of the interns grew, Mr Strong said.

- chris.morris@odt.co.nz


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