A myriad of technology companies have joined forces to launch a marketplace aimed at improving the digital workforce.
Built by Melbourne-headquartered digital agency Balance Internet, the Skill Finder site offers online digital skills courses for free which are provided by Australian companies and global giants.
This will see Australia's Atlassian, Canva and MYOB and New Zealand-based Xero sit alongside multi-nationals such as Adobe, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Salesforce and Twitter.
The courses range from basic to advanced, span 12 categories and 144 sub-categories and include specialities such as coding, artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, cloud computing, accounting software, business tools and content marketing.
A statement from Skill Finder claims that many of the skills taught through the website are “ideal pathways to accredited qualifications”.
The conglomerate of tech companies is led by Adobe, which brought the companies together following a call for action from the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews.
“Digital skills have proven invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic and will only become more relevant and useful as we continue to recover and for the future,” she said.
“We need to make sure Australians have the skills they need to take advantage of the jobs that industry will create. The broad selection of courses on offer through Skill Finder are what Australia needs to drive digital transformation and innovation, ultimately delivering growth and jobs.”
Adobe is also providing its Magento Commerce and Analytics solutions for free for the site, while AWS offered its hosting services, also at no charge.
James Horne, managing director of Balance Internet, said the idea for Skill Finder came out of a hackathon the agency hosted earlier this year.
“It’s incredible to think our company, operating out of extended lock-down in Melbourne, has been able to corral the calibre of Australian and global technology companies involved to deliver on the Skill Finder concept,” he said.
“It’s our belief that 10 per cent or even more of Australia’s total workforce could immediately upskill as part of this initiative.”
Adobe managing director for A/NZ Suzanne Steele said the site comes amid many companies accelerating digital transformation projects, and by doing so creating the need for an up-skilled workforce.
“We are confident that Skill Finder will help any Australian looking to sharpen digital skills and knowledge as they re-enter the workforce or choose to change direction within it,” she said.
“Australian companies of all sizes will also benefit from a newly accredited digitally-skilled workforce, able to help them deliver the exceptional digital experiences brands and consumers have come to now expect.”