UKOUG embarked on a new initiative in 2014 around the Next Generation of Oracle professionals. The statistics we see everyday show that our industry needs people and there are not enough available.
IT career initiatvies are all around us, the Bring IT On initivtive is a careers attractivness programme aimed at students to consider a rewarding career in IT. The programme was designed by e-skills UK, a not-for-profit, employer-led organisation liscenced by governement as the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology.
Our UKOUG initiative is to encourage young people into our industry, show them what to expect with case studies and talks and bring our community together as one prospective employer, so that CV’s could be shared with all our member organisations that wanted either to bring in apprentices or graduates. We shared the idea with user groups in EMEA and rthere was a lot of interest, Oracle loved the idea and gave us a small grant to help with getting the idea up and running.
We started off with a great event in Birmingham last year and those who took part all said it was a great start, but it was also very difficult to be a new entrant in an area actually swimming in initiatives, we were almost lost in the crowd, and the cost of setting up something new is high. We stepped back a little and looked at how we can work with what is there and mobilise our community to be a positive force in other intiative, this being more productive.
The thoughts behind the original idea was that students would know about Oracle, but what about the wider Oracle community who also use those skills, the custmers and partners? So we are looking at how we can plug into what Oracle do in this area and expand their reach for our mutual benefit.
We have a great relationship with Oracle Academy who talked about their program at our kick off event in Birmingham. We also had two UKOUG speakers Viswa Swiminathan who had been through a graduate program talked about his experiences and Tim Hall talked about the importance of community to aid learning, and one suggestion from Oracle Academy is that we source user group speaker s like these to join them on their ‘Job Ready’ lecture tour around universities.
Oracle take on a lot of graduates and get involved in the annual ‘Milk Round’ and various job fairs and we are looking at how we can be part of that, a great way to bring our community to students. Most exciting in our industry at the moment is the resurgence of apprenticeships and Oracle Academy last year did a pilot with RBS, providing the training content at the local college they attended.
The Future Jobs Framework will provide a platform for partnerships between colleges and industry to create a path to education for industry entrants and work experience for college entrants. Oracle held an open day in Feburary to showcase what they had achieved to the local community, and Pauline Drummond, our then President Elect, represented UKOUG. This is to be rolled out further around the country and another idea to consider is would UKOUG member organisations like to give work experience to younger students and for our members to mentor individuals.
All these ideas take volunteers but that is what we do well and the payback of helping someone start their career is amazing.
Article by Debra Lilley
Featured in Issue 56 of Oracle Scene