As Australia moves towards an AI driven “fourth industrial revolution”, one thing is abundantly clear – we need more people to study and obtain technology related qualifications. With the Australian Computer Society forecasting a national deficit of up to 100,000 technology professionals by 2020 , the industry must do more to encourage people to get into IT.
On 5 November 2018, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Traineeship Program – an initiative to help students and career-changers into IT through paid traineeships. The launch was joined by over 100 partners and attracted wide media coverage in The Daily Telegraph, The Educator, CRN, and on 2GB radio.
The wide appeal of technology
Over a thousand applications have poured in from a diverse range of backgrounds since the Program launched. These applications are in the process of being validated and vetted by program partner MEGT, with candidates having to undertake an online skills test, telephone interview and a face-to-face interview in an assessment centre before being accepted on to the program.
Of the eligible applications, over 65% are from communities in Western Sydney while just under 30% of the applications have been from female candidates. We’ve also received applications from candidates with disabilities and non-English speaking backgrounds as well as return-to-work mothers and fathers, those in rural or remote locations and at-risk youth.
Stand-out candidates currently include a Young Citizen of the Year, a nursing home volunteer completing studies part time, an indigenous student already passionate about technology, and an HSC graduate who has developed a travel app in her spare time.
Partners line up to get on board
Traineeships have been confirmed with a variety of companies, including Datacom, DXC, Veritec, and KPMG.
The first Microsoft customer to commit to the program was ANZ bank. ANZ’s Head of Technology, Strategy and Execution, Suzanne Kincaid, said that ANZ is proud to be partnering with Microsoft to help young people take their first steps into technology careers.
“We know that technology is rapidly changing the way we work and informing the jobs of the future – so training and hiring people with a fresh perspective who can think creatively and critically will help us better meet the needs of our customers and community” Suzanne Kincaid said.
“We’re currently working with the traineeship team to match candidates to roles across various disciplines, like software development, automation, API construction and operations. It’s a really exciting time to be working in tech at ANZ and we’re really looking forward to welcoming our trainees in the New Year.”
Recruitment continues through a paid social media campaign and direct negotiations with key organisations. This involves schools, careers advisers, sports clubs, TAFE NSW, indigenous employment providers, Koori Mail, Disability Employment Services, Girl Guides and Code Like a Girl.
The first successful candidates will commence their traineeship on 18 February 2019, with a further cohort starting in April.
For anyone looking for more information about the Microsoft Traineeship Program, please get in touch with our National Skills Program manager, Beth Worrall