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Tuesday, 15 September 2020 00:28

AIIA, QUT partner to deliver Qld tech skills program Featured

AIIA CEO Ron Gauci AIIA CEO Ron Gauci

Australia’s peak body for the tech industry, the Australian Information Industry Association (​AIIA​) has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Queensland Government to partner with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT)​ to deliver critical skills around innovation in IT and cyber security in the State.

Total investment in the project includes additional contributions from AIIA and QUT of more than $400,000 to provide targeted training for 1,500 Queenslanders.

The project will see the AIIA members co-design with QUT the two pilot courses - ‘Strategic IT-enabled Innovation’ and ‘Cyber Security’ - to ensure that the skills acquired by participants meet industry needs.

AIIA says the first course is focused on improving the soft skills of ICT professionals and encourages innovation, and the second course is designed to improve the technical capability and digital acumen of early to mid-career ICT professionals within Australia’s Cyber Security Industry.

Queensland Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development, Shannon Fentiman, said: “IT and Cyber Security skills are needed now more than ever and that’s why the Palaszczuk Government is proud to support this partnership with AIIA and QUT to deliver this fantastic new pilot”.

“We know skills will be crucial in our State’s economic recovery post COVID-19. Queensland is home to 20% of Australia’s population, yet only 13.5% of the national ICT workforce resides in Queensland.”

“The micro-credentialing system will be recognised by employers as a globally accepted industry standard meeting the current needs and demands of industry,” AIIA CEO, Ron Gauci said.

“The AIIA is pleased to be driving these important industry-crucial initiatives to delivertargeted courses post-COVID. Building skills around innovation in IT and cyber will only help position us stronger and assist in rebuilding the Australian economy - we thank theQueensland government for its support and foresight,” Gauci said.

QUT’s Executive Director for the Graduate School of Business and QUTeX, Bob O’Connor said: “The university is excited to be partnering with AIIA on this pilot program, as the partnership exemplifies QUT’s positioning as ‘The University for the Real World’.

“These two pilot micro-credential courses, which will give a QUT-AIIA academic for the expected 1,500 expected participants, are aligned to meet skills that are in demand byemployers. This is a model that the university is keen to champion,” O’Connor said.

The AIIA, working in consultation with State and Federal governments, recently released a white paper titled ‘​Building Australia’s Digital Future in a Post-COVID World​’, setting out a series of practical recommendations​, designed to help guide policy development and focus areas for now and the next decade including digital investment priorities, skills and jobs ofthe future.

The white paper recommendations include:

  • Accelerating the up-skilling of industry trainers by reducing the mandatory CertificateIV in Training and Assessment course duration to 6 weeks rather than the currentaverage of 11 months.
  • Implementing a nationally recognised lifelong learning framework with skills passportto capture digital skills across VET, University and micro-credential certifications.
  • Issuing government credit to employees to promote lifelong learning and up-skilling.

“Australia is currently short of ​2,300 workers in cyber security​, with an expected demand of at least 17,600 additional professionals required in the sector by 2026 -we hope this investment and focus goes some way to addressing the gap,” Gauci said.

“The AIIA supports micro-credentialing courses and we encourage school leavers and thoselooking to change industries, to attain skills in IT and have a long and successful career in anindustry where jobs are in demand.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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