$400k Investment to Develop Tech Skills in Queensland

At the official announcement at QUT’s Executive Education Centre were (left to right) Dr Peter Beven (QUTeX), Hon. Shannon Fentiman (QLD Govt Minister for Employment & Small Business and Minister for Training & Skills Development), Mr Mark D Nicholls (State President of AIIA) and Professor Robina Xavier (QUT).
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 cybersecurity.

Including additional contributions from AIIA and QUT, the project will see more than $400,000 invested to provide targeted training for 1,500 Queenslanders.

According to Professor Mal Thatcher, Academic Lead for the QUTeX Digital Capability Practice, “This investment is reflective of the pressure that all organisations face in upskilling their workforce for the digital age and recognises the need for micro-qualifications in what is a rapidly changing technology landscape”.

The AIIA members will 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. The first course is focused on improving the soft skills of ICT professionals and encourages innovation. 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.

Skills will be crucial in our State’s economic recovery

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,” Ms Fentiman said.

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,” explained AIIA CEO, Ron Gauci.
“The AIIA is pleased to be driving these important industry-crucial initiatives to deliver targeted 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 the Queensland government for its support and foresight,” Mr Gauci said.

QUT’s Executive Director for the Graduate School of Business and QUTeX, Mr 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 by employers. This is a model that the university is keen to champion,” Mr O’Connor said.

Building Australia’s Digital Future in a Post-COVID World

Working in consultation with State and Federal governments, The AIIA recently released a white paper titled ‘ Building Australia’s Digital Future in a Post-COVID World ’. This set 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 of the future.

The white paper recommendations include:

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

Mr Gauci said: “Australia is currently short of 2,300 workers in cybersecurity, 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.

The AIIA supports micro-credentialing courses and we encourage school leavers and those looking to change industries, to attain skills in IT and have a long and successful career in an industry where jobs are in demand,” Mr Gauci concluded.

The AIIA has partnered with Skillslogiq to develop and manage the Skills Hub Passport Program. SkillsLogiQ is a technology company providing skills management and workforce innovation solutions to individuals, organisations, and higher-education institutions, and is a member of the AIIA.

AIIA’s micro-credential pilot program aligns with Priority 2 of the
Queensland Government’s Queensland ICT Workforce Plan 2019- 2022.

The course is due to start January – March 2021, Cohort 1 (courses 1 & 2), with a review between April and May, before accepting further students between July – September, Cohort 2 (courses 1 & 2).

The AIIA is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fuelling Australia’s future social and economic prosperity through technology innovation.

Skills have become a key component of industrial policy by governments globally

The building of skills has become a key component of industrial policy by governments globally and is widely recognised as an essential component of a firms’ ability to absorb and use ideas and technologies from elsewhere.

My whitepaper, “Skills and Credentialing: Implications for the Future Workforce” outlines the ongoing skilling challenge, and the education-skilling paradox; the emergence of the micro-credential; and, more specifically QUT’s response to address the needs of employers, individual learners, and the university through its micro-credentialing approach.
Download your copy here

Original article written by Thrive PR for AIIA

Article also published by Tuesday,15 September 2020

QUTeX short courses and professional development


Peter is the Director Open Professional Education QUT Graduate School of Business & QUTeX. Peter has extensive global experience in developing and delivering transformation solutions for individuals and organisations through the interface between education and technology. He teaches into specialist subject areas such as workforce and organisational transformation, innovation and strategy within the Graduate School of Business. With over 30 years senior and executive experience across both the private and public sectors as well as a former founder of a number of successful technology ventures, Peter presides on the Boards of several education technology companies, is a partner in a technology venture fund and is an advisor to state and Federal governments bodies on workforce strategy, industry skilling and microcredential policy. He is currently the Chair of the Queensland State Council for the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) - Australia's peak industry body for the ICT sector.

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