Government steps up to start skills program for the tech industry

Government steps up to start skills program for the tech industry

Digital technology pilot steering group to be steered by Yasmin Allen

Credit: ID 55577476 © Victor Diola Jr |

The Federal Government has kicked off its Skills Organisation Pilots program, aimed at improving the skill level within the digital technology industry, among others.

Announced on 31 January by Michaelia Cash, Senator and Minister for Small and Family Business and Steve Irons, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the first two Skills Organisation Pilots will target the digital technology and human services care industries.

First revealed in the 2019-20 Budget, the pilots are planned to provide industries with required skills by shaping the national training system.

Yasmin Allen, non-executive director of the Austalian Securities Exchange (ASX), implantable hearing solutions provider Cochlear, gas supplier Santos and chairman of non-profit, was selected for chair of the steering group for the digital technology program. Cash added that Allen's experience has seen her “at the forefront of digital disruption”.

Allen's responsibilities include leading development of the design of the pilot, which includes the groundwork of a governance model, areas of focus and forward work program before formal proceedings take place later in the year.

The steering group chair claimed digital technologies are essential for the economy and demand for ICT (information and communications technology) professionals and telecommunications technicians are expected to balloon by an extra 71,000 workers by 2024.

“The rapid pace of technological change brings extraordinary potential. For Australia to thrive in this environment it is critical the training system keeps pace to ensure our people and businesses have the right skills at the right time,” Allen said.

Irons added that he encourages people to lend their expertise towards the design of the pilots.

“The pilots will ensure the ongoing availability of a highly skilled workforce. The more industry experience we can bring to the task of designing them, the more effective they will be at building the highly skilled workforce Australian employers need to grow their businesses,” Irons said.

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