Microsoft Australia today announced its continued commitment to helping Australians pursue careers in the technology industry, with the official launch of the Microsoft Traineeship Program.
More than 150 trainees will take part in the Microsoft Traineeship Program which will combine a Certificate IV in Information Technology with paid work experience at some of Australia’s leading organisations. Trainees will also undertake a core set of the latest Microsoft Azure certifications to ensure they obtain relevant skills aligned to some of the industry’s most in demand jobs.
Microsoft’s Traineeship Program focuses on helping aspiring trainees, including school-leavers and career-changers, to enter the IT industry. More than 50 traineeship opportunities have already been secured with both large and small businesses participating in the program, including ANZ, Datacom, DXC, MOQdigital, oobe, TD Logicalis Veritec and XCentral– as well as Microsoft.
Microsoft will work with strategic delivery partners MEGT, Prodigy Learning and TAFE NSW to source, train and manage trainees through the 12 to 24-month program which will be specific to NSW initially with plans for further expansion pending the success of the first year pilot.
According to the Australian Computer Society’s Digital Pulse 2018
report, Australia needs an additional 100,000 tech workers in the next five years, yet there are less than 5,000 local graduates coming out of university with an ICT-related degree each year, leaving a huge growing shortfall of skilled tech talent.
“As an industry we need to develop alternative paths to encourage more people to pursue a career in IT. We believe Vocational and Educational Training (VET) is a great alternative to a more traditional degree for people who want to embark on a tech career and the strong initial take-up from our clients and partners is testament to the demand that exists today for tech talent,” Steven Worrall, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia said.
“In February we launched our National Skills Program to help Australians develop the skills required to thrive in the digital age as we move from a resources rich economy to one where tech talent is in huge demand. Today’s announcement further demonstrates our commitment to tackling the growing skills gap in Australia through a combination of skills-building and on the job training,” Worrall added.
How the Microsoft Traineeship Program works
Trainees will be employed by group training organisation, MEGT, a not-for-profit that specialises in supporting trainees. MEGT will recruit, screen and support the trainees for the duration of their traineeship.
TAFE NSW and Prodigy Learning have co-designed and developed the training program, which blends the latest Microsoft Azure Certifications with a customised Certificate IV in Information Technology.
Delivered by TAFE NSW, the qualification is also eligible for NSW Government subsidies under the Smart and Skilled program. Combining subsidised training with a paid traineeship, ensures the program is accessible to students of all backgrounds.
TAFE NSW Managing Director Dr Caralee McLiesh said, “TAFE NSW has a strong track record of working with industry to provide students with the practical training they need to be job-ready. We’re proud to be partnering with Microsoft to roll-out this Traineeship Program to help deliver the skilled IT workforce Australia needs now and into the future.”
In addition, Microsoft Australia will organise further training and events, allowing partners to benefit from direct access to new and emerging talent, with an opportunity to align participants to their business needs and processes.
Microsoft partners welcome program to bridge skills gap
Microsoft is inviting its ecosystem of customers and partners to sign up to the program and host a trainee for the duration of the traineeship.
ANZ is one Microsoft customer who is making an early commitment to the program by taking on fifteen trainees.
“We need to build great everyday banking experiences for our customers to compete in a challenging and rapidly changing environment. Taking a sustainable approach to developing talent will help us do this. We prize diversity and believe that one of the best ways to solve business problems involves collaboration and different ways of thinking. The trainee program is a great way for us – and all Australian companies – to access emerging talent from different backgrounds and to support them as they work towards being the next generation of technologists,” said Gerard Florian, Group Executive Technology at ANZ.
Bob Peebles, Managing Director AU Commercial of Microsoft partner Datacom, which has committed to taking on 20 trainees over the duration of the program, said, “At Datacom, people are at the heart of everything we do. Our hope for this program is that it will help to further increase the diversity of our workforce, as the balance of training and on the job experience provides a flexible pathway into the tech sector which we believe will be attractive to many different people.”
Recent research conducted by Microsoft identified that amongst its Australian technology partners, many are facing difficulties in recruiting individuals with the required skills, with the most common shortages being in Cloud Performance and Infrastructure, followed by Data Management and Analytics.
The Microsoft Traineeship Program will increase the pool of Microsoft Certified Professionals within the local industry. Through Microsoft’s guidance, participants in the pilot will also have the opportunity to obtain a core set of Microsoft Certifications, including Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate and Microsoft Certified Professional Certifications to ensure they obtain industry recognised credentials. Future specialisations will include certifications that focus on Data & AI and Cybersecurity.
“The key benefits of the Program are the opportunities for meaningful growth available to everyone involved, from clients, partners and applicants, to the broader technology industry and Australian workforce. Although initially launching in Sydney, the Program provides a model that can be applied to different states and demographics nationwide,” Worrall said.
Additional partner quotes
“DXC Technology is delighted to be working with Microsoft on an initiative that will shape the skills, experience and readiness of our future workforce. DXC has a commitment to growing talent and building the future leaders of our digital economy. Collectively, through Microsoft’s Traineeship Program, we can build a pathway for students to gain real world experience and help them deliver more value in the workplace sooner,” said Seelan Nayagam, managing director, DXC Technology in Australia & New Zealand.“
Seelan Nayagam, Managing Director, ANZ Region, DXC
“MEGT is committed to providing training and employment services that make a positive difference to local communities. We achieve this by creating equal opportunities for these services, for all Australians. With equal opportunity at the core of the Microsoft Traineeship Program, we’re proud to be partnering with Microsoft to help attract diverse candidates and ultimately help them to encourage greater diversity in the wider IT community.”
David Windridge, CEO, MEGT
“Building talent for the future of our business is not just about technical skills, but critical thinking, service orientation and a swathe of important attributes traditionally thought of as soft skills. The Microsoft Traineeship Program enables MOQdigital to develop these in parallel as we integrate the structured learning provided by TAFE, leverage the Microsoft partner ecosystem and shape their experience using our own cultural overlay.”
Kelly Wilkes, Head of People and Culture, MOQdigital
“We look forward to the trainees commencing placement within our Canberra headquartered office. Our knowledge and experience with Microsoft Azure and cloud technologies will assist the trainees in developing these skills and knowledge transfer working directly with our senior cloud engineers in real-world applications. In addition, we will personally develop these trainees and equip them with the softer skills required in the IT industry including, stakeholder management, IT communication skills, client-facing opportunities and critical thinking”.
Keiran Mott, CEO, Veritec
“XCentral are happy to be a part of the program and we are looking forward to having our trainee commence with our team in February. It is exciting to be working with school leavers at such an early stage in their career development. All of us here have positive memories of people and companies who gave us our leg up at the same age, so we are looking forward to having the opportunity to be a positive influence for people in similar situations.”
Philip Patelis, CEO, XCentral