How CA is exposing young talent to the workplace in EMEA

For Digital Internships to work, it must be win win for both industry and the graduates.

The European Commissions’ Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, launched in Dec 2013, was a catalyst for CA Technologies in EMEA.  The Coalition created the perfect storm for CA; the skills crisis was impacting not just CA but our customers and the wider industry as every company was relying more on technology, and the European Commission was looking to industry to step up and help address the problem.

So, we seized the opportunity to reinvent our social responsibility programs in the region and align them around engaging our employees to become STEM ambassadors – inspiring, influencing and educating young people to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Create Tomorrow was born since its launch our employees in the region have engaged with almost 7000 young people through one or several of the programs in place including Deploy Your Talents, Step into STEM, Lego MINDSTORM, People Like Me and many others.  And, we also proudly renewed our pledge to the new Coalition for Digital Jobs and Skills Coalition in 2016.

So fast forward to June 2017 and the European Commission’s Digital Assembly hosted by the Maltese government, the current Presidency of the European Union. Digital Internships was the topic for the panel discussion “How to Make the Most of Digital Transformation” last week.

Exposing young talent to the workplace is tremendously powerful as CA has found through our own experience with intern programs in the UK and Czech Republic. The opportunity to work with highly experienced staff, be exposed to real team work and collaboration efforts, supporting real customers as well as developing soft skills is invaluable for the students.  And, for CA, fresh, new ideas and approaches are core to continually innovating in our business.

So, for Digital Internships to work, it must be win win for both industry and the graduates. Both parties must be crystal clear on what they can offer and what they will receive in return for the program to be a success.

Whilst the industry urgently needs developers with computing science backgrounds and a foundation in Java, for example, there are also numerous other roles where talent can be up/cross skilled.  An understanding of the business impact of technology is fundamental for many roles, as is the ability to articulate the value digital transformation will bring.  So being digitally savvy is critical  even for those not studying core STEM subjects; one way to support this is to ensure that technology is used in classrooms in the teaching of non STEM subjects, as outlined in the STEM Alliance Literature Review  

It is also why CA Technologies supported the development of the BSc in IT Management for Business (ITMB) degree in 2005 which blends technology, business, project management and personal development skills in a four year program including an internship year in industry.  Today the course is available in 18 universities across the UK and 2000 students have graduated from the program, successfully entering the workplace.

Our UK intern program accepts applicants from all disciplines and once on board the students are exposed to all the training a full time employee would, including the opportunity to work with cutting edge tools and technology.  It is not just the hard skills that make interns “work ready” but soft skills too, such as unconscious bias, personal branding and developing emotional intelligence.  It is the powerful combination of all of these skills which must be taken into consideration in the development of the Digital Internship program if industry, education and government are to make the much needed progress on addressing the STEM skills gap in Europe.

Sarah Atkinson is Vice President, Communications, Exec Sponsor for Gender Diversity, EMEA and a Board…


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