The Queensland Government has teamed up with Microsoft for a new First Nations digital skills and employment program.
The First Nations Digital Careers Program aims to support up to 100 placements each year over the next three years through paid employment with a government or industry organisation while completing study in a nominated digital course.
The program will start a pilot program in Brisbane in August 2022 with the nationally accredited Certificate III in Information Technology to an initial 10 trainees. Participants will be placed into employment and partnered with a mentor. The full program is set to start in January or February 2023.
“The Queensland Government is delighted to work with Microsoft to develop this program that will provide employment and skilling opportunities for up to 100 people a year to start on their pathway to a digital career within government or industry,” Queensland Minister for Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said.
Enoch added that the program also directly aligns with the Digital Queensland: Digital Professional Workforce Action Plan 2020–24.
“The vision of this plan is for the Queensland Government and digital industry to position Queensland as an innovative, digitally-savvy economy by supporting an additional 10,000 digital professionals by 2024 through investing in skilling, reskilling and attracting a broader range of people into digital professions,” she said.
Also involved in the program is Sydney-based Goanna Education, a sibling company of IT services and staffing provider Goanna Solutions, to assist with the recruitment process.
Microsoft ANZ managing director Steven Worrall said the program aims to tackle Australia’s expected ICT skills shortage and open up career pathways into the digital sector for members of Queensland’s Indigenous communities.
“Microsoft is proud to be partnering with the Queensland Government on such an important initiative that will propel Australia forward on its digital transformation roadmap, boost Indigenous employment in Queensland, and grow cultural acceptance and understanding in workplaces,” Worrall said.