A labour union of IT employees has expressed concerns over IT firm LTIMindtree making its IGNITE training programme and assessment tests mandatory for select freshers awaiting onboarding in order to keep their current offers valid.

Pune-based IT union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) issued a statement condemning the action by LTIMindtree calling it “unethical tactics”.

“We have received complaints that the company is about to remove freshers who have been awaiting their joining date for more than a year under the pretext of a new training programme called IGNITE. Around 700-800 candidates have received such mails,” said Harpreet Saluja, president of NITES. The mails were sent to mainly freshers who were offered jobs by erstwhile Mindtree. The merger of LTI and Mindtree came into effect in November last year.

In response to ET’s request for a comment, the company said it is in the silent period ahead of earnings announcement on April 27 and hence will not be commenting on the matter.

ET has reviewed a copy of the email sent by LTIMindtree.

The company had sent offer letters to these freshers for training and employment in January 2022. However, instead of providing them with an onboarding date, the company has now introduced a learning and training programme with a duration of 6-7 weeks, the union said. The freshers have been given two options—to undergo this assessment-based training or have their earlier offer automatically cancelled, it added.

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Certain freshers, mainly who were given offers by erstwhile Mindtree, will be required to undergo 6-7 weeks of self-paced training with 20% of instructor-led training (ILT) with day, week and milestone-based assessments, the email said. Also, under a proctored assessment framework, the milestone-based assessments score will be multiple-choice questions (MCQ) with 40% weightage and coding assignments will have 60% weightage. Two attempts will be given to clear each milestone assessment, the mail added.“Students with 60% or above in all three milestones will be considered to be successful in the IGNITE programme and will be considered for onboarding in batches based on business demand,” it added.

The Mumbai-headquartered firm has also instructed the freshers to accept the option by next week otherwise a “No” or not giving a response will mean the offer of training and subsequent employment earlier made to you will stand auto cancelled.

This comes as some engineering graduates of batches 2022 and even 2021 are yet to be onboarded by IT services companies, which are marred by a demand slowdown. Labour unions told ET earlier that the numbers could be in thousands and the issue is more acute in certain companies. Some candidates have taken to Twitter to highlight their woes. Most companies, however, said all the offers made to campus hires will be honoured.

ET had also earlier reported that the tapering of post-pandemic demand surge and also the cooling off of attrition metric at Indian IT firms are resulting in fewer campus offers at colleges for 2023 batch graduates. It is up to 30% lower in certain colleges.

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