WYWM logo - mid green
Media release

New program to tackle Australia's digital skills crisis, one high schooler at a time

PUBLISHED June 7, 2023
Leading social impact organisation, WithYouWithMe (WYWM), and the Digital Skills Organisation (DSO) are leading a ground-breaking NSW education program that will see NSW high schoolers upskilled for in-demand tech careers in a bid to ease Australia’s digital skills crisis.
Launching this Friday, the new pilot program will see nearly 1,500 high school students in NSW undertake aptitude testing to identify their skills, natural abilities, and potential to perform the tech roles Australia desperately needs to fill in the next two years and beyond.

Once students are assessed and matched to suitable tech careers, they can then choose to undertake WYWM’s globally accredited online training programs for free, to become employment-ready with as little as 150 hours of training.

WYWM’s Social Impact Lead, Alicia Kouparitsas, says it will allow high schoolers to land secure and well-paying digital careers straight out of school, without needing a university degree. For the tech sector, it will mean there is a much larger talent pool to tap into when it comes to recruiting digital roles.

“Tech careers are very exciting and rewarding and we want students to know the extraordinary employment opportunities they can access in the digital sector, without having to spend three or four years at uni. The result of our training is job readiness in around 150 hours of study.”

“By encouraging students to consider a career in tech and providing them with a very accessible pathway to achieve accreditation, the Australian Government and tech sector will have a real solution to digital talent shortages.”

Currently, skills such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analysis and software development are some of the most in demand in Australia’s evolving economy—with the nation set to require an additional 156,000 digital workers in the next two years. Additionally, the Australian Government and tech sector are committed to achieving 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030, meaning the demand for digital skills is only set to increase.

“Recent WYWM research showed that people between the ages of 15 and 25 have the right attitude and aptitude for the most in-demand digital roles like cyber, software engineering, and data analysis. Their abstract reasoning and pattern recognition is above average and more than 80 per cent already have intermediate or above intermediate tech skills. Youth are naturally wired to step into tech roles and help solve our digital skills crisis.”

The pilot program kicks off with five NSW high schools including Caringbah High School, Liverpool Boys High School, Liverpool Girls High School, St. John’s Park High School and Prairiewood High School, with students from Years 10, 11 and 12 invited to participate.

DSO CEO Patrick Kidd said the grassroots program provides a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of tech professionals amidst a rising demand for digital skills and tech jobs in Australia.

“While forecasts show Australia needs to train an extra 60,000 tech workers annually our education and training system lacks the capacity required.

“Digital skills power our economy. Equipping young people with these skills will help them to optimise their potential while making them more employable. It’s very exciting.”

The pilot program launches this Wednesday at Caringbah High School, with the remaining schools to follow over May and June this year.
Interested in implementing this program in your school?
Get in touch.
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