School leavers are the face of the federal government's bid to arrest the current technology skills shortage via a new AU$4 million ICT apprenticeship program launched in Canberra yesterday.
The program, to run initially in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), will see between 40 to 60 schoolleavers offered placements in up to 16 government agencies. It is just one measure introduced to address the shortfalls identified in last year's Management Advisory Committee Report: Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce (2005).
The government has awarded Health Industry Group Training Company (HIGTC) the tender to recruit and place apprentices.
Apprentices will study for a TAFE certificate in IT during their placements, with training provided by The Canberra Institute of Technology and Sydney Institute of TAFE.
The studies will act as the grounding for a career in the public sector.
Special Minister of State Gary Nairn said the program could grow if successful.
"If there's momentum for expansion to develop an expanded APS [Australian Public Service] ICT apprenticeship program in the future, there'll be scope to look at that", he said.
Placements begin in February.