A Microsoft Australia IT trainee program will expand into South Australia this September after receiving $200,000 in funding from the state government.
The two year program launched in New South Wales late last year, and will be delivered by not-for-profit MEGT, Prodigy Learning and the TAFEs in both states.
Participants work towards gaining a Certificate IV in Information Technology and Microsoft Azure certifications, while undertaking work experience at partnering organisations.
Compnow, Datacom, DXC Technology and HCL have signed up to take on the 40 trainees in South Australia. The trainees are employed by MEGT for the duration of the program.
“It’s critical for our state’s future economic success that our workforce is suitably skilled to meet industry needs – particularly at a time of unprecedented opportunity in sectors such as space, cyber security and defence,” said SA minister for innovation and skills David Pisoni in a statement.
The minister pointed to the Deloitte Access Economics: Australia’s Digital Pulse report which forecasts 2,800 new ICT jobs in SA by 2023.
The funding is drawn from the $11 million the state has put behind a number of skills initiatives, with the aim of creating 20,800 new apprenticeships and traineeships over four years.
The first cohort of trainees in New South Wales started the program in February, 50 of which are now working four days a week at partner companies ANZ, Datacom, DXC, KPMG, MOQdigital, oobe, TD Logicalis, Veritec and XCentral.
"The trainee program is a great way for us – and all Australian companies – to access emerging talent from different backgrounds and to support them as they work towards being the next generation of technologists,” said Gerard Florian, group executive technology at ANZ.
DXC is backing two trainees in NSW and taking on more in SA.
“We are pleased this program is now expanding to Adelaide where we will be looking at four more individuals to join our growing operations across South Australia. Collectively, through the program, we can build a pathway for students to gain real world experience and help them deliver more value in the workplace sooner,” said DXC’s ANZ managing director Seelan Nayagam.
In a December update, Microsoft noted the diversity of people applying to the program in NSW.
“Over 65 per cent are from communities in Western Sydney while just under 30 per cent of the applications have been from female candidates. We’ve also received applications from candidates with disabilities and non-English speaking backgrounds as well as return-to-work mothers and fathers, those in rural or remote locations and at-risk youth,” the company said.
The Australian Computer Society’s Digital Pulse 2018 report says Australia will need 100,000 tech workers in the next five years, but only 5,000 graduates leave university with an ICT-related degree each year.
“Australia will face a significant shortfall of workers in the ICT sector and the local technology industry needs to play a more significant role in growing and nurturing talent,” said Microsoft Australia managing director Steven Worrall in a statement today.
“We aim to create a new pipeline of exceptional IT talent and create exciting career opportunities,” he added.
The company is now seeking to push the program into other locations, noting it "provides a model that can be applied to different states and demographics nationwide".