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IT Summer Camps: report on evaluation of IT Summer Camps


The Scottish Enterprise (SE) Network sponsored a series of summer camp training projects in 2000 designed to address the employability of IT graduates and postgraduates and expand the labour pool for the IT sector. Three programmes were run for different types of graduates by SE Renfrewshire, SE Glasgow and SE Edinburgh and Lothian. The evaluation aimed to assess the conduct and outcomes of the three projects, and the efficiency and effectiveness of the courses in reaching their stated objectives


Face-to-face consultations with SE Network personnel and course delivery agents were carried out. The course participants and employer organisations were examined via a telephone survey. A post-completion questionnaire examined course participants’ employment progression and attitudes towards the course. Employers who placed or subsequently employed course students were surveyed by telephone, and one key member of staff was interviewed in person. Alternative models of employability improvement programmes were examined and compared with the SE Network models.


The three summer camps differed in their involvement with key players, programme design, and programme delivery. Job success rates and participants’ views of the camps were mixed. The selection process for course participants was rigorous, and demand for places outstripped supply. The camps were found to be somewhat lacking when assessed against local labour market need. It was found that stronger links with employers could be forged in future camps. Various private sector companies were directly involved with the courses. Work placements during the course were patchy and their provision identified as one of the main failings of the pilots. The majority of participants felt the camp had increased their business and technical skills. Many employers were not aware of the courses’ content, but those that were found it satisfactory or good. None of the SE Renfrewshire participants obtained industry certification through the course, although this didn’t appear to affect employability. The SE summer camps’ focus on unemployed graduates compared well with other course models which do not.


The following recommendations were made: refine and extend the use of IT summer camps in the short to medium term; encourage the development of basic soft/business skills within the curriculum for IT students at higher education institutions in the medium to long term; and encourage the development of specialised technical/advanced business skills courses for recently employed IT graduates in the medium to long term.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development