Datacom has joined forces with First Foundation as a partner and has welcomed its five sponsored 2022 scholars – Ryley Gray (Tainui, Tākawira Dargaville), Brady Wilson (Ngai Tahu, Ōtautahi Christchurch), Emily Roxburgh (Papatoetoe), Deago Tataurangi (Rangitane, Papatoetoe), and Arno Stil (Pōneke Wellington) – as they embark on their work experience placements across the business.
It has also recently welcomed its two 2023 scholars, Grace Fa’ave (Māngere) and Taranaki Te Hauora (Porirua), at the annual First Foundation awards ceremony for scholarship recipients.
For Datacom, joining forces with First Foundation made perfect sense, says Technology Services Managing Director Justin Gray.
“We were really impressed by First Foundation’s proven track record, and we want to be part of creating really meaningful opportunities that will have a lasting impact on these young people and their communities,” says Justin. “Offering four years of holistic support, the First Foundation model is not just a one-off – this is a programme creating real, lasting change in people’s lives.”
Online safety programme ThinkUKnow helps protect children from exploitation while online, and is reaching thousands of students, families and educators every year.
Datacom has been a critical ThinkUKnow partner for a decade, providing both volunteers to facilitate the programme and technical support and capability.
Datacom promotes opportunities to deliver ThinkUKnow presentations among its staff, and sets annual targets for volunteer numbers and presentation-training attendance to ensure a consistent number of volunteers. Since the inception of ThinkUKnow, the programme has doubled its number of registered volunteers enabling it to grow its reach.
Greg Furlong, Datacom’s General Manager, PSG Innovation and Growth Practices, is among those who have put up their hand to deliver ThinkUKnow presentations.
“That first-hand experience has made me really passionate about getting involved, and preventing this from happening to other people. I believe encouraging conversations between parents and their children, or teachers and students, that prevent children from experiencing nasty cyber behaviours like grooming is really worthwhile work.”
More than ten interns from the first cohort of Amazon Web Services (AWS) re/Start cloud computing course have now finished their internships with Datacom with many receiving full-time job offers.
AWS re/Start is a free, skills development and job training programme that prepares learners for cloud computing careers, and globally connects more than 90% of graduates with job opportunities. The programme is part of Amazon’s commitment to bring free cloud computing skills training to communities around the world.
For Datacom, AWS re/Start is providing a pathway to connect more Pacific and Māori people to the exciting world of technology and to showcase the rich career opportunities on offer.
STEPtember 2022 saw the formation of a 760-strong transtasman Datacom team who clocked up more than 140 million steps in their efforts to raise money to support people living with cerebral palsy.
Pre and post-work team walks and “mobile meetings” became a regular occurrence, and taking a selfie while walking was definitely on trend.
Datacom Connect MD Stacey Tomasoni led “Pace with Stace” sessions throughout September, which drew together team members from different countries and as many as 20 different cities and towns.
“Raising money for life-changing research and support services for cerebral palsy was a great source of motivation for the team and people went above and beyond to squeeze thousands of extra steps into their week.”
The team’s final fundraising total for STEPtember was more than $70,000, including a $20,000 contribution from Datacom. The plan for 2023 is to beat these numbers!
The first graduates from a unique programme teaching a small group of prisoners how to code will soon be ready to apply their skills in the real world — and Datacom is one of the companies offering internships.
During the 12-month pilot programme, the participants have been learning intermediate web and app development through a handful of programming languages.
Managing Director Justin Gray says two students from the original cohort will intern with Datacom, and the focus will be on providing a supportive and nurturing environment where they can apply and grow their skills.
Take2 founder and CEO Cameron Smith says it is about ensuring people are not going back to the outside world without any skills or any opportunity.
“What we’re doing is providing them hope. It’s about allowing them to improve their quality of life.”