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UC, Column 72 to offer industry-based, paid learning program

Antony Perry

24 July 2018: The University of Canberra has partnered with Column 72 Pty Ltd to establish a new program which will see aspiring IT professionals placed in the workforce for the duration of their studies.

The Mainframe Trainee Program is a ground-breaking initiative that combines traditional university study with three years of practical learning to ensure students are industry-ready when they graduate.

At the core of the program is the newly-developed Bachelor of Information and Mainframe Technology.

Through a mix of face-to-face and online learning, students will learn about the technical and programming job roles for IBM Z® – the world’s most advanced hardware and transaction processing platform – while undertaking full-time work as a trainee in that environment.

Participants in the program will be paid an attractive salary and conditions so they graduate with no fee debt and three years of practical experience.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Deep Saini said students would develop the traditional skills required in the contemporary mainframe environment as well as the ability to navigate future technologies.

“The University of Canberra is pleased to partner with Column 72 to deliver this unique industry-based learning initiative,” Professor Saini said.

“The Mainframe Trainee Program is both academically sound and practical to meet industry needs and ensure that graduates are confident to handle complex problems of the future.

“Students will complement their classroom learning with on-the-job experience at some of the biggest organisations in Canberra and around the country.

“This complete work-integrated learning experience is the latest example of the University’s ongoing commitment to providing students with high-quality, industry-based learning opportunities.”

The IBM mainframe architecture is synonymous with security and performance to the extent that it has always been the platform of choice for major corporations and government agencies across the globe.

IBM Z is building on that legacy with more diverse services to address the emerging disruptive technologies that are changing the way organisations relate to clients.

Column 72 Director Murray Woods said students would be able to manage complex mainframe environments and handle challenges in the industry at the end of their studies.

“I look forward to watching the trainees learn at the University and progress with their sponsoring employers during this dynamic, emerging and rapidly evolving time in the IBM Z space,” Dr Woods said.

Column 72 co-Director Paul Matthews added: “The program will introduce the next generation of IT professionals to the IBM Z platform. The skills they’ll develop will be in demand for as long as the industry demands leading-edge software when it comes to performance and security.”

To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a Diploma of IT from TAFE or be in the first year of an IT degree at an Australian university. People can register their interest at or with the University. Successful applicants will begin the Mainframe Trainee Program in December.