ENSCHEDE – Just like in the rest of the Netherlands, companies in Twente are eager for IT staff. Half of the vacancies are difficult to fill, according to the UWV. Especially the demand for highly skilled programmers, developers and security specialists is great. That fact was the reason to start with TalentIT more than a year ago, says initiator Coen Beernink.
„We want to attract talent to the region, retain talent and help companies find the right people, ” says Beernink. TalentIT does this by placing students at companies for a part-time job, internship, thesis or a project. „ There are about 1,200 small IT-related businesses in the region, of which most are relatively unknown. There is a multitude of companies and institutions where the use of ICT is becoming increasingly important and therefore the availability of IT staff is essential.”
By placing students in these companies during their studies, they get to see what companies and institutions in Twente have to offer them. As a direct result of this, when the student graduates, they are more likely to stay in Twente. This is what TalentIT hopes to achieve.
Falco Berendhaus is the first student to be placed on behalf of TalentIT. Mid-May he starts a part-time job of 10 to 12 hours a week at InnoValor in Enschede. „It’s nice to be able to do something I also study for”, Berendhaus says. „I still work as a warehouse employee, but I’ll stop that as soon as I get to start at InnoValor.”
TalentIT offers more than just part-time jobs. TalentIT also works with internships, graduation projects or projects for a period of several months. Students can register with the foundation from the second academic year. „It would be best if the student gets to work part-time jobs and an internship at various companies for three years,” says Beernink. „So they get a behind the scenes look at many places.”
For the student there is also something in return. The work yields a fixed hourly wage, which is the same for every participating company. This is to prevent competition. In addition, there is a surcharge to pay the tuition fees. „If a student has a part-time job or internship for a year, he will receive a fee with which he/she can pay tuition fees for a year”
TalentIT received its startup capital through the Agenda of Twente, the Province of Overijssel and the municipality of Enschede. The affiliated companies and institutions assure TalentIT’s longevity. Their interest is to attract good people. Together with Falco Berendhaus, another twelve students are being placed at companies. There are sixty companies that want to participate. TalentIT is intended to grow steadily . „Our aim is to have around 200 students by 2020-2021, spread over about 150 organizations, ” says Beernink.
As of yet, it’s just Saxion students who can apply, but the intention is to also start a program with the UT. Starting this next school year guest lectures and company visits will be added.