Sydney, Wednesday 15 August 2018: Employment and education start-up WithYouWithMe has announced it has expanded its operations to the United States, as it looks to tackle underemployment and unemployment on a global scale.
WithYouWithMe is an Australian tech start-up which has been growing at a rapid pace since launching in late-2016. The company was originally founded with the purpose of helping veterans transition from the military, with more than 4,000 individuals through its program of training and employment. The company is now applying the same program to other under-utilised groups, including professional athletes and university students.
The company is looking to apply its unique program to the US market, with Co-Founder and Global CEO Tom Moore saying the opportunity is too big to ignore.
“We’ve long been looking at the States as an expansion opportunity. We’ve had people on the ground for some time now and have already locked in some key clients and talented team members to join the US team. With the business growing and becoming more established in Australia, now is the time to get stuck in and look to help even more individuals find a new career,” Moore said.
The expansion coincides with the appointment of two key personnel to the WithYouWithMe team: Tom Larter to the newly created role of CEO Australia & New Zealand and Andrew Dudgeon, who has been appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director.
Tom Larter was one of the company’s first employees and has run the company’s sales team as General Manager for the past 12 months. Prior to joining WithYouWithMe Larter served more than 12 years in the Australian Defence Force as an Infantry Officer and Leader. He said he’s looking forward to building on the company’s success.
“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to lead the business here in Australia and in New Zealand. Since joining the organisation when we were still a couple of people working out of a living room, I truly believed we could achieve big social impact and solve some big problems. We’ve got a phenomenal team and I’m looking forward to helping even more individuals and companies prepare for the future,” Larter said.
Andrew Dudgeon is a key appointment who is set to provide guidance and leadership to the organisation as it grows. Dudgeon has had roles leading some of Australia’s largest organisations, including as Managing Director of Bombardier Transportation Australia, a rail technology leader with more than 1,100 employees in Australia. Andrew has a distinguished corporate career, including as a partner at executive-search firm Heidrick & Struggles, CEO of Rolls Royce Australasia and a leadership role at Qantas. Dudgeon also has a distinguished military career, holding various leadership positions within the Australian Defence Force and rising to the rank of Brigadier.
Dudgeon said on his appointment: “Since I met the WithYouWithMe team last year I loved their vision and what they’re trying to achieve. I’ve been nothing but impressed by what they’ve managed to achieve to date and am excited to join them on the journey and helping the company to continue to grow.”
Tom Moore said both Tom and Andrew will bring unique skills to the team and are perfect for the roles.
“Andrew is an established leader in the Australian business community. He has not only experience with military and corporate, but also a sporting background which will be invaluable for the company’s athlete program. He’s a rising star in corporate Australia and we’re stoked to have him on board.
“Tom Larter has been on the journey for a long-time now and there’s no one else I know who is more passionate about helping veterans and others find a new career. Tom is a leader, plain and simple, and the Australian business is in good hands with him at the helm,” Mr Moore said.
Sydney, Thursday 16 August 2018: Employment and education start-up WithYouWithMe has today announced a partnership with Western Sydney University to help train the next generation of cyber security talent to enter the workforce.
WithYouWithMe and Western Sydney University (WSU) have teamed up to help get students job-ready for the cyber security industry. Estimates show that the Australian cyber industry has a skills gap of roughly 11,000 individuals, a number which is rapidly growing given the pace of change in the industry.
WithYouWithMe has developed an innovative training solution which can upskill an individual with no background in cyber security and help them be job-ready for an entry level role. The course runs in parallel with WithYouWithMe’s testing and matching software which assesses an individual’s aptitude and attitude to recommend who would be the best job and culture fit for cyber security.
WSU has partnered with WithYouWithMe by guaranteeing credit and recognition of WithYouWithMe’s cyber training within an undergraduate degree in computer science, allowing individuals a practical skills-based path to a new cyber career. The two parties are currently working through the final steps towards a deeper integration of WithYouWithMe’s learning approaches with WSU’s tertiary studies in high-tech areas, including cyber and robotics. This approach will provide a pathway for new students and a stepping stone for those considering tertiary-level study to support their growth as a cyber security professional.
The partnership was announced today at the launch of Project Sierra at WSU’s Parramatta campus – a project run by WithYouWithMe in collaboration with AustCyber to train more than 75 undergraduate students in the WYWM Academy Cyber Analyst Course and enter the job market. The program’s funding was announced earlier this month by the Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaela Cash, with more than 120 students attending today’s launch event alongside leading employers such as Telstra, Westpac, NSW Government, Accenture and CBA.
Tom Larter, WithYouWithMe CEO, ANZ, said the project was set to completely change the way the cyber industry views talent.
“For too long industry has been stuck in its way when it comes to looking at what makes good cyber talent. Companies are often looking for an individual with extensive experience and a highly-technical background as a pre-requisite to get a job,” Larter said.
“WithYouWithMe’s testing and training platform shows that any individual with the right aptitude and attitude can be a success. We hope the project with AustCyber and the partnership with WSU starts to change the narrative and helps pipeline new talent into the industry.”
Project Sierra aims to test more than 1,000 Australian undergraduate students on its platform, with the top 100 individuals who test as ‘best fit’ for a cyber career given free access to the WYWM Academy training. The program is open to students from all universities, including WSU, with students encouraged to register and complete the testing by September https://withyouwithme.com/unicyber/.
In a conference space at Sydney’s Maritime Museum, dozens of pairs of chairs are set up facing each other for an afternoon of speed dating. The heavy-hitting corporate suitors – their names are on the chair backs – include EY, Stryker, Accenture, PwC, Westpac, Cordelta, Splunk and Amazon. They’ve come along to this career expo with more than 100 open positions for candidates who have one qualification in common: military service.
In early 2015, Army veteran Tom Moore was frustrated by his own transition into the workforce and knew many fellow vets struggling with depression, unemployment or underemployment. He decided to follow what he’d learnt in the military: “Fix a problem, don’t walk past it.” By May last year, he had “about six people working out of my kitchen”, and today 42 staff in offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Washington DC, are working for WithYouWithMe.
The unusual moniker comes from the lingo soldiers use as they go through a building in room-to-room combat, “one of the most dangerous things you can do, and we did a lot of it in the Middle East”, says Moore. “The drill is when you come up to a doorway, the person behind says ‘with you’, and the person in front says, ‘with me’, and you go through the doorway together to protect each other.” WithYouWithMe is us saying: ‘we’re already through the door, we can help you through on your next journey’.”
Moore joined the Army at 18 and was only 23 when he led a 60-man combat team in Afghanistan in 2013. After he was injured, he ran one of the Army’s outplacement projects. “I helped more than 400 people transition, and the process was crap … which I discovered for myself when I went through it.” Hundreds of fruitless applications finally led to a job in sales, “doing 50 cold calls a day after managing 100 people … so it was a bit of a shift”. Fellow veterans were either jobless or in part-time work that didn’t line up with their real skills and experience. That’s when Moore decided to try to fix the problem, with the analytical focus and determination you’d expect of a combat veteran.
His idea was to use technology to identify known gaps in the labour market and the people best suited to fill them. “We’re playing a supply and demand game,” says Moore. “It’s a simple methodology: what does the market need, what does the individual need and what can they do, then giving them the skills so they can be hired and pairing them with companies that need them.” The skills-gap analysis, which is continually building using AI, pairs with a second piece of technology that matches people with jobs through online testing of “aptitude, intellect, psychometrics and culture fit”. That test suggests 10 career paths and highlights skills gaps that need to be bridged to get there, plugging right into the WithYouWithMe online training platform “for things such as cyber security, robotic process automation and systems engineering,” says Moore.
The software is all proprietary to WithYouWithMe and, as the company approaches 500 job placements for veterans the program is being piloted for retiring athletes and parents returning to work. “It’s applicable to anyone who’s going through unemployment or under-employment, or who is transitioning to a new career, which there’s going to be much more of in the next 10 years,” says Moore.
To that end, he believes his solution can help companies preserve their human capital in the face of technological change. “Not all of the new jobs are engineering related – a lot aren’t, and four to 12 weeks of upskilling or retraining can get people up to the standard to do them,” he says. “We’ve got a platform that allows companies to work out what they need and who among their staff are suitable for it, and an online training system that’s quick and helps them to shift their workforce rather than replacing them.”
As WithYouWithMe grows it will continue to serve and remain free for veterans (recruitment fees support that business model), including in the US. But Moore reckons they can “flip recruitment on its head” in the wider world, too.
“The company’s at the top of the road; we’ve got a lot more to learn,” says the 28-year-old. “Hopefully in the next few years we’ll make a real dent in the issue for veterans and move on to something else. We’re here to solve problems, and we’ve worked out that creating a sustainable business that helps individuals and companies is the easiest way to solve the underemployment rate.”
Business Development Manager:
Responsible for the development of growth strategies and managing client relationships, Business Development Managers can expect to earn $80,000-$95,000 pa.
Robotics Process Automation Developer:
$70,000 to $90,000 – Build software ‘robots’ and design process automation solutions using industry standard techniques and RPA software.
Human Resources Consultant:
The HR Consultant is responsible for performing advanced, specialized and administrative duties in a designated human resource program or area and can expect to earn $80,000-$91,000 pa.
Inside Sales Representative:
Inside Sales Representatives work with customers to find what they want, create solutions and ensure a smooth sales process and can expect to earn $60,000-$80,000 pa.
Software engineers tend to specialize in a few areas of development, such as networks, operating systems, databases or applications, and each area requires fluency in its own set of computer languages and development environments. Software Engineers can expect to earn $75,000-$90,000 pa.
Although Adani’s Carmichael Coal Mine remains under significant political pressure, the company’s stock has continued a steady recovery from its 2015 crash, growing by 60% since October 2017 (AU$2.34 to AU$4.04). The Australian coal market has also experienced consistent price growth, currently sitting at US$106.78/metric tonne, gaining 4.56% in the last month and 27.52% in the last year. The price of Australian geothermal coal is at its highest point since March 2012. These factors indicate a regaining confidence in the growth potential of Australian coal, and thereby the possibility of job growth in the near future of the mining sector.
National unemployment in January 2018 was 5.5%, a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage points from December 2017, though labour force participation also fell by 0.1 points to 65.6%. This varies somewhat by State however as South Australia (5.9%), Queensland (6.0%) and Victoria (6.1%) all sit above the national average. New South Wales (4.8%) and the ACT (3.7%) remain the highest performers, though NSW participation (64.6%) falls below the national average.
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra present the best opportunities for job-seekers. Jobs in these cities are plentiful and well-remunerated. Townsville and Elizabeth continue to be precarious grounds for those looking for a new career. High unemployment rates and dearth of emerging employment initiatives do not portend future growth in these regions.
*Economic insight reports monthly by WithYouWithMe Labour Market Analyst, Jonathan Walker.
Our CEO Tom Moore is this week in Israel as part of Minister Dan Tehan’s cyber security delegation. The trip coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba, a battle in which Tom’s great-grandfather Cecil Norman O’Brien fought. Tom spoke with ABC Canberra about what it means for him to be commemorating the efforts of his ancestor, as well as how the trip will help WithYouWithMe’s cyber program, training veterans for careers in cyber security.