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Growing Australia’s digital workforce

Exemplar: financing the return to employment

Improving training delivery

A program to increase the diversity of the tech sector, and provide opportunities to those who may otherwise face barriers to employment, is being piloted in South Australia.

Backed by the South Australian Government’s Department for Industry, Innovation and Science, the ‘Financing Of Return To Employment’ (FORTE) pilot program commenced in May 2022, delivering no-cost, high quality training to equip 150 South Australians with the skills to work in hi-tech industries.

The pilot program is running for three years, and early indicators are encouraging, with more than 40 percent of recent FORTE graduates already securing jobs at companies including Avanade, PWC, Accenture, SRA Information Technology and Fleet Space. The remaining graduates were actively job-seeking and undertaking interviews, with support from FORTE.

Through the FORTE model, training is initially funded by private investors and delivered by training providers, including Generation Australia, General Assembly, _nology and 42 Adelaide.

The South Australian Government only makes repayments when a successful employment outcome has been demonstrated – where a participant has secured work in their chosen field, earns a higher income, and generates higher income tax as a result. This ensures the South Australian Government only pays for labour force interventions that work.

“FORTE graduate Dani Barry received multiple attractive job offers having completed just one month of Salesforce training. “As a busy mum with three children under the age of five, I never imagined that I would be able to go from working part-time in hospitality into a tech career,” Ms Barry said. “Thanks to FORTE, I have been able to access the support, guidance and opportunities necessary for a bright future in the field of IT.

“I commend the South Australian Government for supporting this forwards-looking, innovative program. Not only is it improving the lives of South Australians in really meaningful, transformative ways, it’s also helping future-proof the Australian economy, by ensuring we have the talent companies need.”

Dr Nat Ware
Founder & CEO, FORTE

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