A local ICT association’s first internship programme has been deemed a success with some 20 Computer Science and ICT students at the tertiary level gaining valuable experience in ICT businesses in Barbados.
This from Philip Lewis, President of the Barbados ICT Professionals Association (BIPA). Mr. Lewis was addressing a press briefing on BIPA’s accomplishments as well as upcoming programmes for the 2016/17 year. He noted that the objective of the internship programme was to provide students who had little or no ICT working experience with exposure to Barbados’ ICT working environment.
The internship programme began earlier this year in partnership with the Barbados Community College (BCC) with eight students receiving three-month job placements in ICT companies including Massy Technologies.
“These supervised placements allowed the students to put into practice the theoretical concepts they’d learnt, in a challenging but supportive work environment. The feedback from the students was highly positive, with the experience being seen as very advantageous to future job prospects on completion of their studies,” the BIPA president explained.
“Furthermore, a partnership with the IDB Bridge programme enabled the students to be paid a healthy stipend. The project has been a clear success and will be run every year going forward,” Mr. Lewis noted.
BIPA is the island’s foremost professional membership organisation for individuals and corporations with a primary focus on the expansion and development of ICT opportunities in Barbados and the Caribbean region. Mr. Lewis describes one of its strengths as “the strategic projects we work on to bring tangible meaning to ICT within the society. The internship programme fits firmly within this focus.”
During the briefing, which was also attended by representatives of BCC and UWI, the Harriet Gittens ‘BIPA’ Memorial Award was presented to the most outstanding interns – Monique Holder and Deandra Bovell. Ms. Gittens, a career teacher, was a member of the 2014-2015 BIPA Executive before she passed away in January 2015.
BIPA’s plans for the 2016/17 year also include a bolstered membership drive, networking events with members of Barbados’ ICT fraternity, and greater engagement with key stakeholders in Government and the Private Sector.
Mr. Lewis also introduced the rest of the new executive: Vice President, Margaret Leon; Treasurer, Andre Griffith; Secretary, Cheldeane Miller; and Membership Officer, Larry Mayers. Board/floor members are: Heather Barker, Mahesh Bhajan, Shireen Flann and Edwin Workman.