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Microsoft Traineeship Program launches in Victoria to build tech skills and create jobs

Today, Microsoft Australia announced the extension of its Traineeship Program to Victoria following its success in New South Wales (NSW), the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and South Australia (SA).

The announcement was made at an event at RMIT this morning, where the Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Martin Pakula, announced the Victorian Government will invest $200,000 to expand the Microsoft Traineeship Program to the state.

Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula said, “Through this program, we are investing in the next generation of IT professionals, ensuring they have the skills and real-world experience to forge ahead in their careers.”

The first cohort of trainees will join the program in the coming weeks, with more to come on board in February 2020. The Microsoft Traineeship Program will combine a Certificate IV in Information Technology with paid work experience at some of Australia’s leading organisations.

First launched in NSW in late 2018, the Microsoft Traineeship Program has already expanded into the ACT and SA. The program aims to create career pathways for people who have been under-represented in the IT industry to date including women, Indigenous people, people from non-English speaking backgrounds and people living with a disability.

Research shows that without this sort of concerted effort, Australia could face a shortfall of 100,000 IT workers by 2024. Microsoft Australia Managing Director Steven Worrall urged industry leaders to play a more direct role in growing and nurturing talent.

“By working with strategic delivery partners RMIT, Prodigy Learning and MEGT – as well as a network of partner and customer organisations in Victoria – we aim to create a new pipeline of exceptional IT talent,” he said.

“For aspiring trainees – school-leavers, career-changers, return-to-work mums and others looking to enter the industry – this program provides an excellent foot-in-the-door. It’s a gateway to exciting and rewarding IT careers with vital on-the-job learning.”

RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement and Vice-President, Melissa Sweetland said the Microsoft Traineeship Program was a great example of how education and industry leaders can work together to support skills development for the current and future workforce.

“The future world of work is changing at a rapid pace and we have a responsibility to ensure our graduates are equipped with the skills and experience that industry needs,” she said.

“Giving our students the opportunity to work with industry experts, make professional contacts and gain real-world experience is a key part of RMIT’s commitment to preparing them for life and work.”

Organisations are invited to join the program regardless of size. Early adopters of the program in Melbourne include Advance Computing, Blue Connections, Coles, CompNow, Datacom, Data#3, IT and Beyond, MEGT, Modex, oobe, and Veritec.

Datacom Managing Director for Australia, Bob Peebles, said it was delighted to be involved with program. The business has already supported 14 people in Sydney and two in Adelaide as they take their first steps in building an IT career.

“We’re pleased this program is expanding to Melbourne. We’ll be looking for trainees to join our growing Victorian operations,” he said.

More information for interested companies and prospective trainees is available here.