IBM partners S'pore institutions to skill students

Its Academic Initiative will help train some 3,500 students in more than 40 technologies, including J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and Linux.

SINGAPORE--IBM is prepping to inject IT-proficient labor into Singapore's workforce by collaborating with nine tertiary institutions here, with the aim to arm some 3,500 students with technology know-how.

Big Blue will work with the schools both directly and via the Internet through its Academic Initiative (AI), a program offering more than 40 technologies such as J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and Linux, which teaching staff can use to build course curriculum.

The program offers the schools tools such as access to IBM hardware, course materials and textbooks, certifications, curriculum assessment services and tutorials.

In addition, students who are conducting research can also access IBM's Center for Advanced Studies for resources including the IT vendor's source codes and technical staff.

According to Margo Robertson, AI program manager at IBM Asia-Pacific, the AI program has reached 275,000 students in 1,300 institutions since its worldwide launch in the middle of 2004. Of this, 130,000 students hail from the Asia-Pacific region.

The nine institutions joining the AI in Singapore are: Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and Singapore Institute of Management.