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Wagga Wagga students 'e'-quipped for technology future

e-Summer School students are getting a head start in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) field after completing a three-week training course today at Wagga Wagga TAFE.

Initiated by NSW Premier Bob Carr as a program for disadvantaged high schools across the state, the program gives students the chance to increase their skills in the ICT field.

Fifteen students from years 9 - 11 from Junee, Kooringal, Mount Austin and Wagga Wagga High Schools attended the e-Summer school, which has been sponsored by Optus.

Chris Hancock, Managing Director Optus Business, said the NSW Government and Optus were working together to deliver ICT skills to Wagga Wagga students.

"The e-Summer Schools are helping to build the communications skills pool in NSW. And the schools will act as a funnel for our own entry-level recruitment needs.

"Today's school students will be tomorrow's communications specialists," Mr Hancock said.

Andrew, a student from Mount Austin High School, said he knew a little bit about IT at school but was impressed with the practical aspects of the course.

"We did theory and hardly any practical, whereas at the e-Summer School we do all practical work - so I think I'll have a real advantage over other students," he said.

Rebecca, a student from Mount Austin High School, said "The IT industry is the way to go - it's growing and it would be a great thing to get into."

Another student, Clinton, from Kooringal High School, said "We've been learning how to make web sites and stuff - if I want to be a programmer or graphic designer - I can just go and do it!"

Luke Chisholm, Teacher of IT, at TAFE NSW - Riverina Institute, said the students have responded well to the course and took advantage of the opportunity to gain practical experience in the ICT field.

"We are aiming to give students a head start with skills in multimedia, information technology word processing and sending and retrieving information on the internet," he said.

e-Summer Schools are based on a successful model used in Colorado in the United States. Students have been given a cash scholarship to attend the school and training leading to vocational qualifications.

e-Summer Schools were held across NSW, with Optus sponsoring schools in Kempsey, Mt Druitt, Petersham and Lidcombe as well as Wagga Wagga.

For more information:
Donna Clatworthy
Optus Public Affairs
Phone: 02 9342 8343