Communicating IT right

Updated: Mar 26 2006, 05:30am hrs
You have trained them on the latest computer software. They are raring and eager to start. They have got the highly marketable IT skills. But their demeanour coupled with awkwardness, low self-esteem, social background and poor communication skills has proved to be their Achilles' heel.

It is this lack of soft skills that Aptech is trying to fulfill. After working for several years with underprivileged children and giving them the requisite IT training which could help them find a place in the job market, this IT company decided to equip these kids with the soft skills so essential to bag that job. And that's how Aptech's tie-up with Swati happened.

Says Kusum Sharma, a vocational trainer at Swati, Communication gaps can lead to a lot of problems. Listening is an important component of good communication and so is clarity in communication. Our students have greatly benefited from this workshop and have learnt new skills which will be extremely useful for them."

Starting with Delhi, Aptech plans to conduct a series of these workshops in 2006 which would cover topics like leadership skills, working in teams, group discussion, motivation, stress management, and understanding self for better development and other areas.

We have been working with various NGOs for IT training, but it is with Swati, an NGO associated with Child Relief and You, that we have taken the initiative of soft skills training. The first batch had 26 students and we are looking at more such workshops across the Capital, says Sonia Narula, deputy vice-president, corporate communications, Aptech Ltd, who is handling the project.

Most of these students have completed class X or XII and are undergoing some vocational course, which the NGO facilitates for them. The first batch had 26 students, spanning the age group of 14-18 years. Buoyed by the training programme, many of these teenagers say they want to study further before taking up a job.

Says Khushaal Bhatia, a trainer from the Aptech Soft Skills Training team, who is working with these children, Since most of these children come from deprived backgrounds, they have grown up amidst limitations. Its important that they develop self-confidence, understand what is right and learn to express themselves. Hence, our initiative is to address these areas initially. "

Aptech has in the past worked with CRY and Rotary International, where it gavefree computer literacy courses for children and held events to encourage them. It has entered into a tie-up with Coimbatore-based NGO, Isha Foundation, to participate in its rural rejuvenation project too.