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Microsoft and the Queensland Government to forge digital careers pathways for First Nations people

The First Nations Digital Careers Program will bolster Queensland’s digital workforce and boost Indigenous employment

Microsoft has announced a new partnership with the Queensland Government to kickstart the careers of First Nations people interested in joining the state’s digital workforce.

Together, Microsoft and the government will launch the First Nations Digital Careers Program. This will provide opportunities and support for First Nations people to enter and thrive in Queensland’s growing digital workforce.

The program will support up to 100 placements each year over the next three years. Participants will be in paid employment with a government or industry organisation while completing study in a nominated digital course, and study options will cater to a range of interests and skill levels.

Queensland’s Minister for Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch, said the First Nations Digital Careers Program provided a wonderful opportunity for First Nations people to start an exciting digital career.

“The Queensland Government is delighted to work with Microsoft to develop this program that will provide employment and skilling opportunities for up to 100 people a year to start on their pathway to a digital career within government or industry,” Ms Enoch said.

“It also directly aligns with the Digital Queensland: Digital Professional Workforce Action Plan 2020–24.

“The vision of this plan is for the Queensland Government and digital industry to position Queensland as an innovative, digitally-savvy economy by supporting an additional 10,000 digital professionals by 2024 through investing in skilling, reskilling and attracting a broader range of people into digital professions.”

Steven Worrall, Managing Director at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, said the program will help tackle Australia’s expected ICT skills shortage and open up career pathways into the digital sector for members of Queensland’s Indigenous communities.

Microsoft is proud to be partnering with the Queensland Government on such an important initiative that will propel Australia forward on its digital transformation roadmap, boost Indigenous employment in Queensland, and grow cultural acceptance and understanding in workplaces.

The First Nations Digital Careers Program will commence as a pilot program in Brisbane in August 2022. It will start by offering the nationally accredited Certificate III in Information Technology to a cohort of up to 10 trainees. Trainees will be placed into employment and

partnered with a mentor to support them in their study and employment. In addition, they will have an opportunity to undertake further learning and gain on the job experience whilst completing their traineeship to enable them to be best placed for success.

Once it is up and running, the program will be refined as required for additional cohorts to commence in January or February 2023.