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Microsoft answers Government call on digital skills with commitment to upskill 5,000 public sector workers

SYDNEY – March 27, 2018 – Microsoft is launching an initiative to deliver critical cloud computing skills to 5,000 Australian public sector workers by 2020, with the aim of boosting the digital capabilities of public sector workers at the forefront of delivering digital services to Australian citizens.

Microsoft, along with its training partners DDLS, New Horizons and Advanced Training, will invite key personnel from the public sector and supplier organisations to participate in specialised, Microsoft-subsidised, cloud computing courses. It is anticipated 800 public sector workers will be trained over the next three months, with a goal to upskill a total of 5,000 by 2020.

A comprehensive nine module program will run across six cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide, designed specifically for public sector workers. The program is for all skill levels at every stage of the public sector’s cloud adoption journey and is designed to align with the recently released Australian Government Secure Cloud Strategy[1]. This strategy made clear the important role cloud services must play for new or modernised services in the digital transformation of the public sector. Microsoft’s announcement supports and accelerates this process.

The program will accommodate workers across the entire public sector ecosystem, including government partners, solutions/systems integrators and independent software vendors, along with public sector workers preparing to deliver services against the Government Secure Cloud Strategy.

The courses accommodate a range of skills and needs, with everything from integrating on-premise core infrastructure with Microsoft Azure, to operationalising cloud analytics solutions with Microsoft Azure. Participants will come away with a range of skills including being able to move, transform and analyse data, design and deployment skills for end-to-end solutions, and monitoring and troubleshooting in the cloud.

The skills announcement is reinforced by Microsoft’s ongoing and significant investment in its Azure cloud services in the Australian market. Microsoft recently formed a partnership with Canberra Data Centres (CDC), which will host two Azure data centres in the ACT, specifically designed for mission critical government workloads and national critical infrastructure.

Steven Worrall, Managing Director Microsoft Australia, said digital transformation and innovation are critical to sustaining Australia’s national competitiveness.

“Microsoft’s investment in skills, in start-ups, in our nation’s digital infrastructure, and in our 11,000-strong partner ecosystem reinforce our very deep commitment to the success of Australia and its citizens.”

In addition to today’s announcement and the partnership with CDC, Microsoft recently made two more significant investments:

  • the launch of a National Skills Program aimed at providing digital skills to Australians as they transition to the digital economy
  • the establishment of Microsoft’s ScaleUp program in the new Sydney StartUp Hub

Mr Worrall said the skills gained by public sector workers and their trusted suppliers and partners will support the Government’s mandate to transform how they serve Australians, modernising or creating new digital services for citizens through the adoption of cloud computing.

“The Federal Government has also commissioned the Australian Public Service Commission and the Digital Transformation Agency to improve the digital capability of the Australian Public Service. Our commitment to provide education and development to upskill 5,000 public sector workers will help complement that process.

“This training promises organisational agility, better delivery of services and faster insights from government data, which will help transform the Australian public sector by providing a better experience for citizens. Migrating from legacy platforms to the cloud is not trivial, so the specialised program we have put together will equip public sector developers and system engineers with cloud-ready skills to design and build digital solutions and deliver their agency transformation initiatives.”

Kevin Noonan, Chief analyst for worldwide government practice at technology research firm Ovum, welcomed Microsoft’s plan for the development of critical cloud skills.

“It will be an ambitious goal to train 5000 individuals by 2020, but a necessary one.  As the pressure for change continues to grow, it is simply not enough to address the transformation of our legacy systems, without concurrently addressing the legacy processes and legacy thinking.

“The need for a comprehensive approach is clear, but its practical implementation is not so easy. This announcement is a significant step forward because it brings together four critical ingredients:

  • The program has been designed systematically to ensure a more consistent approach to cloud, across various job roles
  • The program has been specifically developed to address the needs of the public sector
  • Local training organizations are being partnered to provide focused delivery
  • Microsoft is putting money on the table to subsidize the training. This will be welcome news for cash-strapped public sector agencies.” Concludes Noonan.

About Microsoft

Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.