Competition for IBL Placements
Citation:Ram, S. (2006). Competition for IBL placements. Coll, R. (Ed.) Proceedings of the Ninth New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education Annual Conference. Hamilton, New Zealand. 81-84.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2195
Providers of tertiary education and training include work experience or real projects as compulsory requirements of a number of programs that they offer. Students have to meet either one of these requirements in order to graduate. This implies that the students must find employers who can provide opportunities for them to gain the necessary work experience or complete projects that are relevant to their respective programs of study. Are there such employers? If so, can they meet the demand for the industry based learning (IBL) placements? How should the placements be managed? Obviously there are employers who do offer opportunities for IBL placements because many students have successfully completed the requirements of their programs and have graduated. However, did all students find placements that they needed? Did they find them in good time? The reality is that the number of opportunities for placements is limited. Students from all tertiary institutions compete for the places that are available. The situation is probably aggravated by secondary school students who also take up holiday jobs. Apparently, there is a need for an efficient and effective management of the placements. An electronic database that stores employer information is an obvious solution, but who should create and maintain it? Should each institution have one of their own? Should there be one for each city, or the nation as whole or a global one? Answers to these questions may lead to well-managed IBL placements. The issues raised in the above paragraphs are based on my observation over the last three and a half years while supervising IBL students on Unitec’s Bachelor of Business program of study with the information systems major. These may also be relevant to industries other than information technology (IT). The intention of this paper is to find some feasible solutions to these apparent problems by delving deeper into the issues that have been raised. This paper may also trigger the undertaking of new and more detailed studies that could lead to effective solutions.