TAFE SA’s IT student support desk has been named Innovator of the Year at the 2017 IT Services Management Annual Awards announced in Melbourne this week.
Hosted by IT Service Management Forum Australia (itSMFA), the awards foster best practice across the IT industry and recognise outstanding contributions made by organisations and individuals.
The award recognises TAFE SA’s ICT Services on-campus support desk where IT students, supported by staff, provide technology support to fellow students.
The Student IT Support Desk was piloted in July 2016 and now runs every semester to meet a growing business need for student support while training the IT leaders of the future. Over three semesters, 30 IT students have worked on over 1,000 requests from fellow students to reset passwords, connect to campus Wi-Fi and resolve everyday computer problems.
TAFE SA Chief Executive Robin Murt said the award was another example of TAFE SA’s high quality vocational training that transforms lives.
“We are delighted to receive this award and this IT initiative is another example that our training is hands-on, it’s practical, and it’s job-ready,” Mr Murt said.
“The volunteer students gain valuable operational knowledge of the workings of a large IT environment, and TAFE SA’s ICT Services team gain insight into student needs when using TAFE SA systems.
“It is pleasing that three volunteer students involved in the IT student support desk have now gone on to gain employment opportunities within TAFE SA’s ICT Services team.”
TAFE SA Executive Director Facilities, ICT and Procurement Craig Carter said the award is a fantastic achievement for a worthwhile initiative.
“The real satisfaction comes from knowing that we continue to enable our student volunteers to secure roles in our industry as a direct result of this experience,” Mr Carter said.
TAFE SA IT student Jason Madden was one of those who volunteered for the support desk to add the experience to his Diploma in Computer Systems Engineering study.
The 35-year-old thought he would be providing support to students for just two weeks but an unexpected vacancy in the TAFE SA ICT team offered him a temporary employment opportunity that is hard to come by – a place behind the phones on the ICT Service Desk. After six months on the desk, Jason has now secured a role with the TAFE SA Cyber Security team.
TAFE SA was amongst a strong field of finalists that included Lendlease, NAB, Optus Satellite, Queensland University of Technology, the Queensland Government and Transurban.