Computer Science students at the University of Greenwich have been improving their employability thanks to a pioneering scheme.
The GWizards project tackles head on the national problem of unemployment among computer science graduates head on. It has been running for two years and gives degree students the chance to help small and medium sized businesses, including social enterprises, by improving their computer systems. Students guarantee a professional service and level of commitment, as well as maintaining their studies.
Professor Liz Bacon, Dean of the School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences at Greenwich, is aiming to expand the project over the next four years. She says: "Working and gaining real experience is vital for employability. Around 70% of the students who volunteered last year are now working in fields related to their degree. Employers want work experience and GWizards gives our students the chance to get that experience."
Training4resilience, a company that offers training solutions to help organisations prepare for emergencies and crisis, recently used GWizards students. Beverley Osbourne, a senior partner at the company, adds: "We have been delighted with the work that GWizards have completed for us. The students have been enthusiastic and professional throughout - the quality of the work has been excellent, and we would definitely use them again!"
Frances Unuode, a GWizards volunteer since February 2012, graduated last year with an MA in Information Systems Management. She recently worked for Training4resilience, who called her in to develop training software.
She says: "This has given me valuable experience, which will help towards finding a job in IT, as well as helping my confidence. This project gave me the chance to work independently and I now feel I can handle things on my own."