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HCL hiring kids straight out of high school

HCL Technologies Ltd, India’s fourth-largest software services exporter, is poaching young talent – and in the process looking to possibly pip competitors who offer college placements -by hiring students straight out of high school and training them to be IT professionals.
HCL (market cap Rs 1.23 lakh crore) is offering talented Class XII graduates with a background in science a starting salary of Rs 1.8 lakh per annum and train them to develop and test apps for the firm.
The technology giant recently started a pilot programme in Madurai, in which it will recruit 100 students who passed Class XII and directly absorb them in the firm after training for one year on its Coimbatore campus. The criterion is simple enough: students have to score an average of 85% in their board exams (80% for CBSE students).
In a collaborative venture, it will also give students the option of pursuing a BSc degree from SSN Engineering College through a weekend college programme.
Nine months of classroom training will give the students the foundation they need in engineering subjects followed by three months of training to acquaint them with a working environment.
“There is great emphasis on higher education in Tamil Nadu, but the state also has many families that cannot afford an engineering education,” HCL Technologies vice-president, diversity & sustainability, Srimathi Shivashankar, says. “The programme will give an opportunity to students who can’t afford a regular course.” Though it is not a new idea to equip students with job skills from the school level, she points out, the programme can tap into the needs of students from rural areas who “could have early career aspirations”.

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