IT training pipeline open for business
Courtesy of The Advertiser.
Creating a pipeline of information technology talent to keep up with the ever-evolving IT needs of South Australian businesses is the aim of a new traineeship program by Microsoft Australia with State Government assistance.
And businesses are being asked to play a role in growing and nurturing that talent by taking part in the Microsoft Traineeship Program.
The program involves providing 40 people in SA with two year traineeships that combine on-the-job, paid work experience with a Certificate IV in Information Technology and a Microsoft Azure Certification delivered through TAFE SA.
Beth Worrall, National Skills Program Lead for Microsoft, says the company is keen to en-courage as many people as possible into a career in computer science, with the Australian Computer Society estimating there may be about 80,000 jobs that cannot be filled in 2023.
“We hear all the time from both customers and partners that they have lots of jobs that they can’t fill because there aren’t enough people studying in those areas at university,” she says.
“So we are looking at ways that we can both encourage people into IT careers but also increase the diversity of the IT workforce.”
The program was launched successfully in New South Wales in late 2018, leading to a push to expand it here from September, with $200,000 Skilling South Australia funding.
Delivery partners include TAFE SA, Prodigy Learning and group training provider MEGT.
“In scaling out to SA, we’ve been working really closely with the TAFE here to incorporate the Microsoft Azure certification into the qualification,” Worrall says. “This is really important because we know our customers and partners are looking for graduates with the latest IT knowledge.”
Worrall says Microsoft would love to hear from any company interested in taking on technology trainees, with DXC Technology, Compnow, Datacom and HCL already signed on in SA.
Cian Zoller, DXC Technology Human Resources Director in Australia and New Zealand, says the IT services company agreed to come on board after experiencing a shortage of people with Azure skills – Azure is a set of cloud services. “The conversation started around how we would tackle the shortage,” Zoller says. “A good third of our employees are based in SA. That’s where we are looking to expand.
Under the program, MEGT will advertise for and do an initial assessment of candidates, with partner businesses like DXC selecting preferred trainees. Trainees are employed by MEGT, which oversees the trainees, providing mentoring and support, as well as assistance to businesses.
DXC expects to choose four to six trainees in the first round and expand those numbers if the program works as expected.
David Pisoni, Minister for Innovation and Skills, says: “It is critical for our state’s future economic success that our workforce is suitably skilled to meet industry needs – particularly at a time of unprecedented opportunity in sectors such as space, cyber security and defence.
“IT companies in SA and nationally are experiencing increased demand for information technology roles at the higher skill level, and introducing a simple, statewide program for IT businesses to access trainees will encourage longer term use of this career pathway”.