A new initiative from the Victorian state government aims to build a stronger pipeline of technology capabilities with a $200k investment to support and expand the Microsoft Traineeship Program to Victoria.

The announcement was made by Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula.

“Through this program, we are investing in the next generation of IT professionals, ensuring they have the skills and real-world experience to forge ahead in their careers,” Pakula said.

Australia currently faces a shortfall of 100,000 workers by 2024 in the information and communications technology sector, with the number of people graduating with degrees in this area not enough to meet demand.

The Microsoft Traineeship Program provides trainees with industry-recognised credentials such as a Certificate IV in Information Technology while they undertake paid, hands-on learning with some of Australia’s biggest companies.

“Partnerships like this one between employers and training providers are critical to ensuring our students get relevant training and on-the-job experience,” said Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney.

In Victoria, program partners include: Coles, CompNow, MEGT Australia, Modex, Blue Connections, Thomas Duryea Logicalis, Advance Computing and Datacom. Trainees are not required to have a background in IT and can be at any stage in their career.

The course is suitable for those with an interest in IT including school leavers, recent graduates, those looking to change careers, women returning to work, people from Cultural and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds, Indigenous people and people living with a disability.

Victoria claims to be Australia’s tech state and an emerging tech hub in the Asia-Pacific, and the Andrews Government is determined to ensure the state remains a leading location for the tech industry.

The Labor Government says it is investing record funding in training and skills and higher education to make Victoria the Education State. Since 2015, more than $1.3 billion has been invested to rebuild TAFE system and ensure students can get the skills they need for the jobs they want, according to the state government.

Microsoft Australia Managing Director Steven Worrall said, “With support from the Government – as well as a network of local partner and customer organisations – we aim to create a new pipeline of exceptional IT talent and create exciting career opportunities for aspiring trainees.”

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