VENDORiQ: HCLTech Continues to Expand TechBee Program in Australia

HCLTech's TechBee program offers IT and business training to produce job-ready graduates in partnership with Navitas. However, concerns include reduced long-term workforce retention and the need for a safety net for learners.

The Latest

28 February 2023: HCLTech has expanded its TechBee program in Australia. TechBee provides placement for learners to build their foundational skills in IT and business.The twelve-month training offers paid internship at the company before moving on to a full-time position and potential financial support for graduate education. The company has partnered with global education services provider Navitas for training and delivery. The program has been introduced in Sri Lanka, Australia and India.

Why It’s Important

During a recent analyst briefing by HCLTech’s Australian executives, the company announced it will train TechBee graduates in any of the 79 specialities for which it has gained National Certification accreditation. By partnering with Navitas, the company has designed the program to train at scale, both young learners and professionals with the support of the state government. This differs from TAFE’s program since HCLTech builds the IT and business foundation in the first three months and then narrows down the learning focus according to industry demands and their specific partner organisation’s skill requirements to produce job-ready graduates.

This type of ‘workplace training’ program is considered a national benefit as it creates new employment pathways for young and (especially) marginalised people, in a manner that local government programs rarely offer.

However, it should be noted that workforce training has become more complex – but also more accessible – due to the rise of hybrid work. The cost of investments in classroom-led and online training has increased, especially when organisations need to offer personalised learning solutions.

A few concerns may arise from the TechBee program. First, HCLTech has admitted by offering companies qualified younger cohorts into their workforce, they can “keep their salaries down”. In other words, this will reduce the impact of the cost of hiring external professionals with the same level of skills but with higher salary requirements. It risks its long-run workforce retention among companies when these graduates have earned enough workplace experience and will decide to switch to other enterprises that can offer more competitive salaries. This is common in Australia where the country recorded a 9.5% job mobility rate in February 2022, which is the highest in 10 years. Jobs in the professionals’ category, in particular, registered one of the highest mobilities at 8.8%, up from 6.5% year over year1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Job mobility.

Second, in the VENDORiQ, Appian’s Low-Code Scholarship Program Makes a Difference: Will it be a Win-Win-Win?, IBRS recommends that such programs establish a ‘safety net’ for their learners where they can retake the assessments a number of times to prevent further anxiety around whether they can pass or not. The minimum educational requirement for applicants in the TechBee program is high school completion in the last three years with a minimum of 60% grade in mathematics. Should its trainees not finish the program, it can impact their mental health and may frustrate any continued studies.

Who’s Impacted

  • CEO
  • HR teams
  • IT teams

What’s Next?

  • Industry trends need to be evaluated well enough to avoid producing an oversupply of tech-ready graduates.
  • Organisations that offer such training programs must provide a combination of tutoring and mentorship, with a special consideration on mental health issues. This should be instituted to ensure that the trainees can remain committed to fulfilling the requirements of the program.

Related IBRS Advisory

  1. Workforce Planning
  2. Modernising Enterprise Learning: Fundamentals (Part 1)
  3. Building a High-Performance Hybrid Working Environment in the Post-COVID Era

Trouble viewing this article?