Graduates of the second Technology Leadership Forum (TLF) Internship Programme, which aims to encourage Bermuda’s youth to become more interested in Information Communication Technology (ICT), were celebrated at a ceremony at the Hamilton Princess today.
Students selected for the TLF Internship Programme participated in an intensive 12 week summer internship where they acquired experience in the ICT industry through both classroom learning and fieldwork as members of staff at participating companies.
The TLF was founded by the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and E-Commerce three years ago because of an identified need for qualified Bermudian talent in the ICT field and is run in partnership with private sector technology companies and organizations.
The TLF comprises key influencers and leaders in the technology industry in Bermuda. Their prime objectives are toencourage dialogue, address issues, propose action steps, and to be a networking group amongst peers.
The Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and E-Commerce the Hon. Michael Scott, JP, MP said the TLF was just the kind of initiative that would help to address the shortage of experienced Bermudians in the ICT sector.
At the Graduation Ceremony Minister Scott said: “ICT can lead to significant advances benefitting society such as in the fields of telemedicine, e-democracy, coordinating relief efforts in times of disaster, public safety, protecting the environment, sustainable energy, and so on.
“I would like to congratulate this year’s TLF graduates and have no doubt that they have been inspired by the possibilities, the power and the important role that ICT plays, not only in business but in these other important areas as well. I hope they will help to create ICT solutions to solve some of these pressing problems of society, not only for Bermuda, but for the benefit of all.”
This year, twelve college-level students pursuing technology-related degrees participated in the program from the end of May to the middle of this month. The programme culminated in tonight’s graduation where the students received a certificate of excellence, which allows industry partners to know the level of expertise they bring to the table because they successfully completed the curriculum designed by the TLF partners.
During the classroom training sessions, students focused on modules such as Business Continuity, Project Management, Data Warehousing, Programming, and Networking, to name a few.
These modules were taught by industry professionals and were meant to provide the students with a basic overview of the topics. It is the hope of the TLF that these modules will encourage students to focus on areas of study which are of the greatest need in Bermuda businesses.
One of the benefits of this internship program is the networking opportunities available to the students and the local ICT partners. Additionally, the partners know that students graduating from the program can become beneficial members of the company’s workforce with experience and hands on training. And one of the successes from last year was the hiring of TLF internship graduates by RenRe, BHB and ICS.
Two special awards were also handed out. The Most Outstanding Student Award is given to intern who has made a positive and lasting impression on the TLF sponsor companies during the summer internship, embodying the objectives of the TLF Internship Programme. Feedback on the interns was solicited from the TLF partners, instructors and the students themselves also rated their peers. While academic and work performance are critical in the consideration of the most outstanding student, the intern’s leadership potential, maturity and growth during the programme were also assessed. This year’s winner was Matthew McBeath.
The second award was the TLF ICT Professional Recognition Award. The success of the TLF Internship Programme rests with the participation of ICT professionals who give of their time and expertise through teaching, mentoring and networking with each year’s interns. In a programme where the interns are expected to go above and beyond, it is no surprise that the ICT professionals involved do so as well and more. The ICT Professional Recognition Award is the interns’ acknowledgment of an ICT professional who has made an impact on the cohort by providing instruction, advice and counsel to enable them to move towards their career goals. This year the award was given to Christian Blais of BELCO.
Minister Scott also thanked the numerous companies which have partnered with Government including BELCO, RENRE, Bermuda Hospitals Board, the Departments of E-Commerce and E-Government, KeyTech Group, EGL – Edmund Gibbons Group, Nova, Northrock, Quo Vadis, Department of Labour and Training, Bermuda College, ICS and the Accountant General’s Department for their sponsorship and support of this program.