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Media release

New program seeking underrepresented Queenslanders to help tackle state’s digital skills crisis

PUBLISHED December 4, 2023
Leading social impact organisation, WithYouWithMe (WYWM), has partnered with the Queensland Government to launch a ground-breaking new program that will see underrepresented groups upskilled for in-demand tech careers in a bid to ease digital skills shortages and encourage more diverse representation in the sector.
Launching today, the Queensland Government Digital Career Drive aims to support the state’s growing digital economy by providing unlimited free tech courses to Queenslanders from underrepresented communities – including First Nations peoples, veterans, neurodivergent individuals, women, youth and mature workers.

Under the program, participants will have access to WithYouWithMe’s 11 globally accredited online training programs, allowing them to upskill into in-demand digital roles—in areas such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analysis, and software development—and become job-ready in as little as 150 hours, at no cost to them.

The program is a creative solution developed by the Queensland Government and WithYouWithMe in response to Australia’s urgent digital skills crisis. In Queensland alone, the tech industry has indicated it will need an additional 10,000 digital professionals by 2024, with the state investing $8 million over the next four years to ensure future tech capabilities.

As part of the program, participants will also have access to Career Success Managers –WithYouWithMe career coaches who will support participants throughout their training program and help guide them into paid full-time tech careers. Queensland employers will also be offered the valuable opportunity to hire from a diverse talent pool of entry-level technologists and contribute to expanding the state’s tech workforce.

WithYouWithMe Chief Customer Officer Cia Kouparitsas, says the program offers an innovative solution to an urgent national problem, while simultaneously allowing the state to access a previously untapped pool of tech talent.

“The Queensland Government Digital Career Drive provides an opportunity for underrepresented Queenslanders from across the state to access free, globally accredited online training and upskill into one of several high-demand digital roles – like cyber security, software development, service delivery, and business analysis.”

“The program aims to expand digital literacy across the state, driving better employment outcomes for Queenslanders while also offering employers access to a diverse, pre-trained talent pool to fill digital gaps. It will provide Queensland employers with a valuable opportunity to hire skilled tech talent into their teams through a government-supported social impact initiative.”

Queensland Government Customer and Digital Group’s Program Director Bron McClain said the Digital Career Drive is the latest program supporting the Digital Professional Workforce Action Plan 2020 – 24 (DPWP).

“We’re working hard to establish Queensland as an innovative and digitally-savvy economy by supporting the development of an additional 10,000 digital professionals by 2024.”

“Through investing in skilling and reskilling, and creating awareness of the diverse opportunities of a digital career, we can address the digital skills shortage and create more meaningful employment outcomes for all Queenslanders.”

More than 160 Queenslanders have signed up to the program and gained access to free training.
If you’re interested in joining the Queensland Government Digital Career Drive, sign up here

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