South Australian businesses in the IT and hi-tech sector could soon see more highly skilled tech graduates available to employ thanks to a new program aimed at filling the digital skills gap.
Introduced to South Australia by social impact organisation Forte, 150 young people and job seekers looking for a career in the digital economy will be able to access digital training at no cost to themselves, with the trial program designed to engage with groups currently underrepresented in the tech industry.
The trial program will specifically target 17-24-year-olds not working or studying, women, people with a disability and Aboriginal South Australians. The program will also target VET or university graduates who are unemployed post completion of their qualification.
Forte is a global organisation that partners with governments and investors to address the training and employment needs of individuals disconnected from the workforce or future labour market priorities.
While most training models require the government to pay training costs up front, under this model Forte’s performance payments from the South Australian Government will be based on employment results. Up to $3 million has been committed by the South Australian Government for this purpose.
Forte Managing Director, Ed Miller, says their mission is to train people in the skills of tomorrow and address long-term inequalities in the tech industry.
“We’ll be providing people access to some of the best training providers in the country – regardless of their own financial means,” Ed says.
“The Forte model offers a unique approach to financing education and training that comes at no cost to the individual, and no risk to the taxpayer.
“We believe governments should only have to pay for reskilling programs that succeed in landing people good jobs, in high-demand industries.”
The Atlassian Foundation is among the investors in the project, which partners with local and national training providers 42 Adelaide, General Assembly, Generation, and _nology.
The program will help address key skills gaps that emerge as the state positions itself as a key tech hub.