London: India's Tata Consultancy Services, TCS, is to help boost UK graduate employment prospects by supporting the Study India Program.
The Study India Program (SIP) 2012, a UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), is designed to nurture the essential employability skills that businesses will look for in developing a best-of-breed workforce in an increasingly competitive global business environment.
Through the UKIERI SIP, UK school-leavers and students visit India for four weeks during the summer months to engage in a combination of cultural and commercial opportunities. This will also include a week-long placement, to provide an insight into business operations in a global setting.
TCS says that in the current difficult economic climate, both the private and public sectors share equal responsibility in ensuring that tomorrow's workforce remain not only globally competitive but also help develop a global mindset with employability skills. The SIP is aimed at encouraging the youth to broaden their horizons at a critical stage in their lives, helping them to prepare for their future so that they feel inspired and empowered to excel as they embark upon their careers.
Shankar Narayanan, Director and Head of TCS in the UK and Ireland, said, "In the UK, we are committed to developing local talent and supporting and encouraging the new generation as they embark on their careers to equip them to be a part of a global workforce.
"The SIP is a part of our UK skills development initiatives that are geared toward helping to improve employability by encouraging social entrepreneurialism and a global mindset as well as strengthening knowledge through the world of work."
Martin Davidson, CEO, British Council, said, "Today's budding workforce will be the key to growing the global economy in the years to come. As our world becomes increasingly dependent on cooperation between different nations around the world, a global approach will be critical to deepening our relationships in order to maximize our nation's competitiveness and overall prosperity.
"Innovation partnerships like the one that TCS is driving remain a strategic priority for the UK in our plans for economic development, so I welcome the time and effort the company is investing in this and encourage other private sector organizations to do the same."
Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School, said, "We mustn't underestimate the opportunity we have to positively influence young people in the very early stages of their career development. Creative initiatives like this that bring together business best practice, culture and travel can be immensely powerful in helping to steer their mindset, guide them towards making the right choices and opening their eyes to new ideas."
This year, 60 students on the UKIERI SIP will take up internships at TCS and 42 will work with Tata companies. An integral part of the curriculum, this placement aims to provide students who are enrolled in an undergraduate course at a further or higher education institution with a valuable and transferrable work experience as well as a global perspective on career opportunities — whether they work for a multinational company, a global organization, a local SME with a global supply chain, or set out as entrepreneurs.
The UKIERI SIP is distinctive in that it provides an opportunity for the wider UK education sector, including students and teachers, to benefit from the learning and experiences of the participating students. Having spent three weeks in India, a sub-set of around 30 students who have completed a work placement at one of the Tata companies will be selected as SIP Tata Ambassadors. As ambassadors, they commit to regular visits to UK secondary schools to share their experiences from India and mentor students on setting out on their career paths.