Why Course accreditation is important, but why it’s also broken
WithYouWithMe achieves GCHQ Certified Trainer status
Education accreditation. It’s a topic which I keep hearing about from employers, students and organisations. There are countless articles published, particularly in the cyber and other high-tech education spaces, around the pros and cons of particular courses and what value you get from completing one course over another.
Too often I see students focused on the ‘piece of paper’ at the end of their course, rather than the content of a course and, most importantly, the skills they will learn from it. Moreover, I see many employers also focussed on certification or accreditation that is seen as assurance of the person they are hiring, and we are right to want that. However, under the current restrictive and out of touch approach, more frequently it is not an indication of ability or skill.
Before I get into some of the details around WithYouWithMe’s experience with accreditation, it’s worth highlighting how we got this place. The roots of higher education can trace back to ancient Greece, where students were involved in lifelong learning to become a ‘universal man’ (hence the term ‘university). Courses were taught by elders in the community who had the utmost respect and knowledge, rather than those who had been accredited by some institution.
As education grew and more players entered the market, it was obvious that a system was needed to ensure we had no ‘fly by night’ operators fleecing students out of their money, and also ensuring minimum standards were being met across institutions.
However the education market has changed and the way we accredit our courses needs to as well.
The average Aussie student today gains more than 80 per cent of their lifelong learning before the age of 21. However according to research firm Alpha Beta, by 2040 more than 40 per cent of learning will happen as adults, with the average worker spending six hours per week in training.
With such a vast shift in educational experiences, we need to adjust how we recognise courses and ensure they meet not just industry standards, but also the skills which an individual needs to be a success where it really matters – the workplace.
My background is predominately in security and the cyber security space. The cyber security education and training eco-system’s inability to keep up with the ever evolving nature of cyber security threats and approaches has flowed on to being unable to meet the demands of the cyber security industry in terms of providing practically skilled personnel who can ‘hit the ground running’.
However what is being provided into the market are students who graduate with a 3 or 4 year degree with little to no practical skills for the industry, a $50k debt, and an employment market that is asking them for qualifications and experience. Coupled with the fact that AustCyber is predicting a need for more than 17,600 cyber security roles by 2026, more work needs to be done to offer pathways to transition into cyber security careers.
Now, as the Global Head of WYWM Academy, I can say we’ve had an interesting accreditation journey. Our focus has been on developing online courses which teach you valuable ‘hard’ skills and get you job-ready for an entry level role in the quickest time possible. We’ve built a model where our instructors are working in industry to continue to develop and practice their skills, and then incorporate those skills into our courses and our student experience.
Our courses are constantly evolving in order to keep pace with what is happening in the eco-system, and that presents a challenge to map the skills back to the formal accreditation structures in Australia, which are very rigid for high-tech careers. Being a global brand we also want to ensure we can achieve certifications which can be recognised across the world.
I’m very pleased to announce that earlier this year our Cyber Security Analyst course was recognised under the GCHQ Certified Training (GCT) program. The GCT is designed to assure high quality cyber security training courses delivered by experienced training providers assessed against the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP) Skills Framework.
WithYouWithMe approaches the cyber skills problem differently and focuses on training practical, job-ready skills to our candidates that make them extremely attractive to the market. The UK GCT program focusses on practical job-ready skills, so this was a perfect match for us.
Achieving accreditation under the GCHQ certified training status is a great way for WithYouWithMe to validate the quality, level and content of our Cyber Security Analystcourse. We have worked extremely hard to develop the course and to ensure the content that we deliver to our students is top level, industry relevant and fulfils the essential elements of what makes ‘good’ cyber security training. Recognition under the GCT scheme provides our students, customers and partners with the confidence that WithYouWithMe training is consistent with Industry best practice.
WithYouWithMe engaged with the UK GCT program to have our training certified as, unfortunately there is no equivalent certification in Australia that supports a way for customers to identify quality training and providers in the Australian market.
WithYouWithMe Cyber Security Analyst training is conducted in as little as 5 weeks full-time and delivers an entry-level Cyber Security Analyst. Our training is on-line which means you can learn when and where you want and not compromise quality. It also opens up opportunities for everyone to learn relevant, job-ready skills without the need to travel or relocate for training.
WithYouWithMe approach is data driven and through aptitude and psychometric testing; matches you to a suitable career pathway. It is about identifying potential and then supporting you with practical skill focussed job ready training and then working to get you into the market with one of our many awesome partners.
It’s great to be able to provide even more value through UK GCT program for our graduates, to complement the most important lesson – industry skills.
WithYouWithMe launches Potential platform to help companies recruit, reskill and outplace employees for a fraction of the cost.
Sydney, Friday 1 March 2019: Analysis from Australian HR start-up WithYouWithMe has found that companies are spending in excess of 130 per cent more to retrench and rehire new employees rather than reskilling their current workforce, costing the Australian economy up to $14 billion per year.
Research shows that each year roughly 330,000 jobs across Australia are lost involuntarily through redundancies and office closures. Reviewing average costs for major Australian companies across redundancy payments, hiring costs, new wages and lost productivity, WithYouWithMe has found that companies are spending significantly more to attract new talent for hard to fill roles, rather than reskilling currently underutilised employees.
With predictions that up to 50 per cent of current jobs could disappear over the next 15 years, an effective system of reskilling and redeployment is required across all industries.
WithYouWithMe, last year named by Deloitte as one of Australia’s fastest growing start-ups, today released this analysis as the company launches WYWM Potential, a new software-as-a-service platform which is set to change the way companies recruit, reskill and outplace employees.
Tom Larter, WithYouWithMe ANZ CEO said that companies need to shift their attitudes towards talent management to keep pace with the changes to the job market.
“Every company I speak with knows that automation is quickly changing the workforce, but not many HR leaders have the tools to deal with the shake-up. Companies need to change the way they view talent and focus on an individual’s ability, rather than their years of experience.”
“Potential gives these leaders the opportunity to not only uncover hidden gems within their workforce, but also train them to be job ready for new tech careers,” Larter said.
WYWM Potential is a new platform which allows companies to easily find the right talent for the right job. The platform can save companies up to 90 per cent of current recruitment costs, as well as providing a robust outplacement platform as workforces continue to change.
WYWM Potential allows companies to test employees to help identify their best career pathways and matches individuals to hard-to-fill roles across the organisation. The platform offers upskill training in areas with the highest skills gap across the economy, including Cyber Security, Data Analytics and Robotics. These skills can then be redeployed across an organisation or utilised as an effective outplacement program.
Some of Australia’s largest companies have been using Potential in Beta phase for a number of months to uncover talent across their organisation. One large Australian company has used the platform to help augment its diversity program, identifying a number of individuals in its Indigenous program, with a number matched to careers in Cyber and are now undergoing an upskill pathway to start a new career.
WYWM Potential is available on a subscription basis. More information is available here: https://withyouwithme.com/potential/
Luke Rix, WithYouWithMe
0422 403 966
WithYouWithMe is one of Australia’s fastest growing start-ups, focused on helping companies and individuals manage careers. The company was founded by Australian military veterans and has helped more than 7,000 veterans in their transition from the Defence Force. WithYouWithMe is now changing the way companies manage talent and outplacement, with a new platform which helps uncover an individual’s potential and match them to new, in-demand careers.
 AlphaBeta, Mapping Australian Workforce Change, October 2018: https://www.alphabeta.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/mapping-australian-workforce-change-2.pdf
 The Australian, Jobs anxiety hampering policy, 5 December 2018: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/jobs-anxiety-hampering-policy/news-story/d479624e174ccfabfa1bff50be439f88
Military Background: Maritime Logistics – Support Operations, Australian Navy
New Civilian Role: Recruitment Consulting
New Company: Randstad
Military Background: Staff Cadet, Australian Army
New Civilian Role: Cyber Security
New Company: Department of Human Services (DHS)
We recently caught up with Scott Stephens, an ex-Army Officer who came through WithYouWithMe’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Course and is now an Automation Consultant at Synergy Group in Canberra.
Neil was a highly trained Nuclear and Conventional Weapons Engineer with 20+ years of electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering experience across both the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy. Despite having qualifications in management and engineering, he struggled to gain interviews because he wasn’t a ‘degree qualified engineer’.
Neil said; “When I left Defence and received my final training transcript I was shocked to learn that during my 20+ year career, I had spent just as much time in training than if I were to complete three university degrees! So it was disappointing to be constantly turned away from jobs because recruiters thought I was not qualified or experienced enough.”
Unfortunately, this is a common story for military veterans as they transition into the civilian sector. But with the help of the WithYouWithMe team and our free platform, Neil navigated the system. We adjusted his CV and introduced him to the director of Enterprise Improvement Solutions, one of our employer partners. This director instantly saw Neil’s value and offered him a six month contract as an Asset Management Specialist, supporting the company’s engineering efforts in the mining industry. It didn’t take long for Neil to hit the ground running and his strong performance is being noted by his new employer, who is thrilled to have him as part of their team.
Career transition can require you to #BeFierce but the WithYouWithMe team are here to help. By focussing your job search on fast-growing industries, training you in #FutureSkills and connecting you directly with industry hiring managers, we are enabling diverse talent groups to secure meaningful long-term opportunities.
Neil’s words of encouragement to other veterans is “I don’t like to use the old clichés, such as “you have to stay strong” but when transitioning into a new industry you really need to. You should never doubt your abilities and what you have been taught in the defence force”.