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The Society of IT Management is calling on young ICT professionals who are already working in local government ICT,...
The Society of IT Management is calling on young ICT professionals who are already working in local government ICT, or who aspire to do so, to enter its travel award, the Graham Williamson Challenge.

The award was created in 2004 to enable a young person starting out in ICT to undertake a short work placement in a local authority abroad, in order to broaden their understanding and knowledge of ICT in a wider public sector context.

The award provides a budget of up to£5,000 to cover travel, accommodation, and associated costs, with the expectation that the successful candidate is granted one month's paid leave of absence from work to fulfil the placement. Host authorities are identified through the links Socitm has with similar professional associations all over the world.

The Challenge was established in memory of Graham Williamson, former head of IT at Argyll and Bute Council who was a highly active member of Socitm. Mr Williamson died in a motorcycle accident in 2000, and the Challenge has been set up as a fitting memorial to someone who was passionate about IT and particularly interested in mentoring young people.

Last year's winner was David Hamilton, website manager at Fenland DC. The award enabled Mr Hamilton to travel to Austrralia where he discovered how local authorities were modernising the delivery of government services.

'The trip was an experience of a lifetime. The Aussies are very determined - seeing the pragmatic way they approach problems was really encouraging. I learnt a great deal and look forward to sharing my experiences with SOCITM.'

Mr Hamilton will be giving a visual insight to this trip of a lifetime in October at the SOCITM Annual Conference in Harrogate.

Applicants should register their interest in the award now by contacting Socitm's member services manager, Stewart Jackson at or tel: 01395 445152.

To apply for the award, applicants need to write 500 words describing what they hope to gain from the experience, how it will contribute to their career and professional development, how the experience might benefit current and/or future employers, and why they are the right person to take up the Graham Williamson Challenge. Submissions will be judged by a panel of senior members and officers of Socitm, including the current president. Submissions should be emailed to

Entries close on 25 August and the winner will be announced at the Socitm National Conference in Harrogate on 3 October.

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