C5 Alliance has launched a developer academy to attract talented computer science graduates back to Guernsey.
The IT and technology company will be offering placements to one or two graduates per year, particularly locally born or qualified graduates wanting to return to the island.
The initiative is being led by C5’s Marc Beavan, director of bespoke development and Matt Thornton, director of processes and platforms. The first graduate developers, Michael Wade and Tim Ogier, joined the academy recently and are currently part of the application support team.
“This is an excellent opportunity for local talent to gain hands-on developer experience in a stimulating environment; something that I wish had been available at the start of my own career,” said Mr Beavan
“Michael and Tim will be put through their paces and learn quickly, but we want to ensure that they undertake meaningful work as they hone their skills. They are already writing a piece of software that will be of huge benefit to local healthcare,” he said.
Mr Ogier, a physics graduate from the University of Warwick, said: “We’re following a really thorough induction programme at the moment. In addition to this, we were given a project that will bring benefit to the local community on our first day, which is challenging us right from the start and quickly embedding us in the practices and standards of the company.”
Mr Wade, a web applications development graduate from Plymouth University, said: “We’re really fortunate to be part of the academy set up at C5. Guernsey provides a great working environment, and if you can find an employer who is willing to mentor you to improve your professional and technical skills then that will set you up well for a future career.”
Managing director of C5 Alliance, Marc Lainé, said that giving entry-level developers the opportunity to train and progress on-island complemented a wider agenda for Guernsey.
“Much has been said about the need for the island to diversify in the technology sector, but for this to be achieved it is imperative that we are developing the right skills on-island. We want to provide those opportunities and contribute towards what is available for those who want entry-level, but equally challenging, training positions in Guernsey,” he said.
A recent survey by the Education department found that the number of graduates returning to Guernsey was falling by 10% year on year.
“We are also cultivating links with local schools and with the College of FE, ensuring that we can provide support for students from many different educational backgrounds. As a company, we don’t want to limit our offering to software developers and so the C5 Academy will continue to grow. There are several areas of our business where we can train graduates; our managed services division, for example, provides an excellent environment for this,” said Mr Lainé.
“We expect the graduates we train to go on and make a real positive difference to the local economy, whatever direction their career takes them.”