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Growing Australia’s digital workforce

New route into tech careers

Improving training delivery

Five Sydney schools are piloting an innovative program to enable high school students to land well-paying technology careers straight out of school, without going to university post-school.

Aimed at easing Australia’s digital skills crisis, the program draws on the traditional apprenticeship model, where someone leaves school and jumps straight into a trade. This pilot helps students build the skills needed to be job-ready for an entry-level tech role. Once they demonstrate they are proficient, they can step into a role and continue to upskill and build their tech career.

The pilot involves 1,500 students in Years 10, 11, and 12. Aptitude tests will determine their skills, natural abilities and potential to take up the technology roles Australia desperately needs filled in the next two years.

Once students are evaluated and matched with entry-level tech job, they can choose from 11 industry-recognised and accredited online training programs. These programs cover job roles such as cybersecurity, software development and data analytics.

Several big employers in Australia committed to hiring people from this initiative, lead by leading social impact organisation, WithYouWithMe, in partnership with the DSO.

“My interest in the program was piqued because I am aware of a huge lack of talent to fill a booming sector. As an academically selective school, almost all of our students, and their families, are focussed on a tertiary education, often with aspirations in the more traditional career paths of engineering, law and medicine. My motivation for engaging our students in this work was to broaden their horizons of other possible career options and pathways in, in this case, digital skills.

Alan Maclean
Principal, Caringbah High, NSW

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