HCL Technologies is set to hire 200 talented high-school students and train them for a year to work for the firm as developers and application testers. Selected students will be employed by HCL, post successful completion of training, at a starting salary of 1.8 lakh per annum. Additionally, the venture is also collaborative in nature, as the students will be awarded a BSc degree by SSN Engineering College through a weekend college programme.
To be eligible for the innovative programme, students need to be from a science background and score a minimum of 85% in their Class X board exams; CBSE students need only 80%. Also, of the 200 students hired, 100 students will be trained at the Lucknow and Madurai campuses each.
According to the Vice-President of HCL, Srimathi Shivashankar, the programme aims to offer opportunities to students who don’t have access to jobs that fit their capabilities. He also said that the move will help the company build a dedicated workforce.
Students who get on-board the programme will be trained for a year, and will undergo nine months of classroom training and three months of practical training. Classroom training will teach the students the fundamentals of engineering, and includes courses like application development, software testing, and application support. Meanwhile, practical training will involve on-the-job training at HCL campuses to give students first-hand experience of the work environment.
The unique programme is a far cry from current industry trends, where companies hire students through college placements. The move by HCL is significant also because the Indian IT sector is increasingly adopting digital technologies. But while digital technologies get accepted, there is a dearth of skilled manpower that has affected IT companies negatively. Seen in this context, the HCL-model may become the norm in coming times as companies try to increase their talent pool.
Industry experts are of the view that software engineers benefit immensely from on-the-job training, as they are valued more than those who bring only academic exposure to the table. Then some experts even advocate the government to get involved in such initiatives as the public-private partnership will help get such industry-friendly initiatives the credibility.