Four companies will share in nearly $11 million to deliver digital cadetships as part of a federal government program, as tech jobs and skills become an election issue.
Just days after the Opposition backed the Tech Council’s mission of creating 340,000 new tech jobs by the end of the decade, employment minister Stuart Robert announced the recipients of the digital cadetships funding and slammed Labor’s policy for having no new funding.
The $10.7 million in funding for the digital cadetships trial, supporting “innovative approaches to cadetships for digital career paths”, was announced in the $1.2 billion digital package included in last year’s budget.
The recipients of the funding have now been announced, with four companies to share in the cash.
Through this programs, cadets will take part in work placements and on-the-job learning, along with formal training. It will see them placed in companies including Accenture and Woolworths, with a focus on cybersecurity, cloud computing and data and analytics.
The recipients of the funding including MEGT Australia, which will be delivering a program for women in Australia to pursue a digital career, focusing on data analytics and cloud computing, and Community Corporate, which will be providing refugees and migrants with training in cloud computing and placements with companies including Accenture and Woolworths.
Indigenous-owned digital training organisation Goanna has received funding to deliver training to women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, including those looking for a mature-age career change. Creative Cooperative will deliver digital training to culturally and linguistically diverse women and youth in collaboration with small businesses.
“We’re investing more than $100 million in digital talent to future-proof Australia’s economy and cadetships are just one measure – we’re funding cyber projects and scholarships in emerging technologies, including AI, across Australia as part of our national Digital Economy Strategy,” Mr Robert said.
“Whether it is digital cadetships or free cyber skills through JobTrainer, when it comes to building Australia’s tech workforce we are getting on with it.”
Last week Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announced that Labor had adopted the Technology Council of Australia’s target of hitting 1.2 million tech jobs by the end of the decade. The commitment opened up a range of policy discussions for workforce skills development, with plans to create an additional 340,000 jobs.
As part of adopting the target, Labor has committed to developing an industry plan to create the technology jobs in coordination with the Technology Council and others in the sector
But Mr Robert criticised Labor’s announcement, saying there is no substance behind it.
“[The government’s announcement] contrasts with Labor’s recent tech workforce announcement which was more of a vibe and less of a plan and included no new skills funding commitment,” Mr Robert said.
“The Australian skills system is firing under the Morrison government. We can’t risk Aussie skills with Labor who want to rip hundreds of millions of dollars out of the very training organisations we need to build a world-leading tech workforce.”
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