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Juniper Partners Lead the Way in Addressing the Skills Shortage!
Oct 23, 2015

Juniper Partners Lead the Way in Addressing the Skills Shortage!

 

Hardware Group (a Juniper Networks Elite partner and Partner Support Specialist) and Lillebaelt Academy, University of Applied Science (a Juniper Networks Academic Alliance partner) broke ground by developing an innovative internship framework to help address the severe skills shortage via the Juniper Networks Academic Alliance program (JNAA).

 

The Juniper Networks Academic Alliance (JNAA) program has a primary objective of supporting both partners and customers in addressing the skills shortage. As part of this initiative, the JNAA program seeks to directly bring together industry and academia with a view to exploring pioneering initiatives to both address industry’s skill shortage and to provide students with enriched internship opportunities. The JNAA program was readily able to identify that Hardware Group and Lillebaelt Academy were both very progressive in their thinking and would have a number of synergies and alignments and as such Juniper welcomed the opportunity to introduce Hardware Group and Lillebaelt Academy….and as they say “The Rest is History”!

 

Eddie Murray (Talent Acquisition Partner) at Hardware Group had the following to say:

 

Hardware Group’s motivation/requirement to meet Juniper Academic Alliance partners

"Due to the critical shortage of candidates with the relevant engineering skills within the local area and the UK as a whole, Hardware Group wanted to look at alternative ways in finding new talent, which is fundamental to the success of the Groups’ immediate and future business s growth strategy. Hiring, nurturing, developing and retaining top talent is absolutely essential for the success of any business."

 

Initially the Lillebaelt Academy was highly recommended to us via the Juniper Networks Academic Alliance (JNAA) program.

 

From initial conversations with Lillebaelt Academy and talking in more depth about Hardware Group it became clear that there were real synergies between Lillebaelt Academy & Hardware Group.  It was Peter Liljehof Thomsen (Assistant Professor) that sold the Academy and his talented student intern offering to us as a unique and mutually beneficial proposition.

 

Building the Lillebaelt Academy & Hardware Group Partnership

"We had the pleasure of visiting Peter at the Lillebaelt Academy in Odense, Denmark and spending time speaking with his students regarding the opportunities we have for engineers to join Hardware Group. We were extremely impressed with the varied experiences and technical skill sets of the students alongside their fluency in multiple languages and their evident passion of IT technical networking.

 

Peter’s unique understanding of the real world of business and his passion to ensure his students are business ready, flexible and robust enough from an academic and hands on practical perspective to cope with the demands of an ever changing IT business landscape is what really impressed HG and has driven us towards where we are today. Following the visit we were able to define a high level intern framework between Hardware Group & Lillebaelt Academy.  

 

The Students will be available for a five month placement from January 2016 to May 2016. Initially we are looking at two interns for the UK and one for our US office.

 

Our UK intern training programme will include an overview of all departments with a strong focus on job rotation within our technical services divisions."

 

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Lillebaelt Academy students and faculty meeting with representatives from Hardware Group

 

Filling the skills gap

 

As well as filling a technical resource gap within Hardware Group with Lillebaelt Academy students who are business ready, flexible and robust enough from an academic and hands on practical perspective, employing International workers bring diversity and cultural richness to our workplace, giving us a distinct business advantage. They can introduce us to fresh ways of working, alternative approaches to problem solving and new contacts.

 

As Lillebaelt Academy students speak various languages other than English, and have experience with other cultures. This can help businesses develop and compete in new markets and attract new customers.

 

Mutual Expectations

 

Our aim is to support and mentor interns during their placement period so as to achieve mutual expectations between Hardware Group and Lillebaelt Academy:

-  Fulfilling essential technical resource required within Hardware Group
-  Develop Interns employability skills valued by employers
-  Increase confidence in interns own abilities to perform successfully at work
-  Develop a clear understanding of what Hardware Group do
-  Demonstrate interns practical technical value and expertise within the workplace
-  Possibility of future permanent full time employment at Hardware Group

 

Success Criteria

 

By Lillebaelt Academy and Hardware Group working closely together in partnership with every step of the internship from induction, training programs through to on the job training, we can agree a set of standards and criteria against which both Lillebaelt Academy and Hardware Group can effectively monitor and measure interns.

 

Regular progress updates and strong communication channels between Lillebaelt Academy and Hardware Group will ensure that the internship placements continue to meet the intern’s requirements.

 

Peter Liljehof Thomsen (Assistant Professor) shared the Lillebaelt Academy Story:

“It was a great pleasure for me and the Academy to welcome Hardware Group to the Lillebaelt Academy in Odense (Denmark) and to introduce Hardware Group to my students. We had a fantastic visit and the students were highly impressed with the presentation from Hardware Group and how they worked both technically and professionally.

For me it was really inspiring to see that the hard work of trimming the education to where it is today, with a lot of help from Juniper Networks Academy Alliance program, has enabled us to bring the Lillebaelt Academy to where we are today. The thought of Lillebaelt Academy being able to deliver Interns to Hardware Group is an achievement I never thought would be possible when I started to teach at the academy 3 years ago. When we “changed” to Juniper and joined the JNAA program, things really started to happen”.

 

Juniper Networks is extremely proud and delighted at the successful and pioneering collaboration efforts between Hardware Group and Lillebaelt Academy in addressing the skills shortage. Juniper would like to wish them all the best in growing their recruitment collaboration framework and setting a precedent for others to follow and benefit from going forward.