AU$15 million plan to plug public service ICT gaps

AU$15 million plan to plug public service ICT gaps

Summary: The Australian public service is striking back at the skills crisis by training its own IT workers in a new AU$15 million, four-year apprenticeship program.

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TOPICS: CXO, Government AU
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The Australian public service (APS) is striking back at the skills crisis by training its own IT workers in a new AU$15 million, four-year apprenticeship program.

The program, which will deliver up to 60 jobs to young Australians, is being set up to address current and forecast skills shortfalls.

"This program directly addresses the ICT skills shortage in the APS and provides real career opportunities in the technology sector," Federal Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsey Tanner, whose department is coordinating the program, said in a statement.

Apprentices will receive "on the job" experience with an APS agency and graduate with a nationally recognised qualification allowing them to pursue an ICT career in the APS.

The qualification will also be valid in the private sector according to a spokesperson for the Minister's office who said "it'll be a nationally recognised qualification."

"We would like to congratulate the government," Australian Computer Society president Kumar Parakala told ZDNet.com.au. "They have demonstrated how they are taking steps to address the skills shortage."

The government will most likely lose some of the graduates to the private sector, Kumar said, but the program will assist in filling ICT positions despite the attrition. "You've got to start somewhere," he said. "I would seriously urge the private sector to follow suit."

Excelior, part of workforce services company the SKILLED Group, will administer the initiative, with the Canberra Institute of Technology providing the academic component. The work placements and academic component will start this month.

"It is all about investing in skills and investing in young Australians," Tanner said.

Topics: CXO, Government AU

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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6 comments
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  • How about the pay rate

    Adjusting pay rates to reflect the industry might be a good way to retain skills.
    anonymous
  • Robbing Peter To Pay Paul

    How about spending the $60 mil on retaining the existing ICT staff in Govt Depts, for example Defence, instead of outsourcing to Unisys and other providers?
    anonymous
  • K.I.S.S. !

    Why don't they spend the money on training the existing staff. Trying to get my Department to pay for ICT courses is like getting blood out of a stone.
    anonymous
  • But how long will they stay?

    How many of these good IT workers, when trained up, will stay in government and have to deal with the politics, office bickering and general APS incompetence when the private sector pays better and offers more interesting work without the redtape?
    anonymous
  • APS IT Jobs

    Does this mean that the Government will stop outsourcing IT positions now?
    If so, will the Government no longer proceed with the outsourcing of Defence IT support roles currently being considered by the Minister for Defence - we will probably find out the hard way.
    anonymous
  • Outsourcing results

    I'd like to see some solid figures on how well or not the outsourcing idea worked. Such numbers as the costs saved or lost to the APS. Local companies created, etc. Workers wages figures. That sort of thing.
    anonymous