Virtual work experience program for secondary school students - Education Matters Magazine
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Virtual work experience program for secondary school students

The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) has launched a national virtual work experience program for tech jobs that will be delivered in partnership with leading education group Year13.

TCA chair Ms Robyn Denholm said tech jobs are amongst the fastest-growing and best-paid jobs in the economy.

“We need to see more young Australians moving into these critical jobs of the future. I particularly encourage more young Australians from diverse backgrounds to explore tech careers. We want more women, Indigenous Australians, people with disability and those living in our outer suburbs and regional Australia, to have the ability to access these fulfilling careers,” she said.

“As someone who grew up in south-western Sydney and attended a public high school, I know first-hand that your background shouldn’t stop you from dreaming big in tech.”

The program is available for free to all young Australians aged 14-25. It will connect secondary school students and post-school leavers with the TCA’s network of tech partners to provide them with a clear pathway towards employment in the tech industry.

Some of Australia’s leading tech companies and members of the Digital Employment Forum have signed up as initial program partners, including Microsoft, the Commonwealth Bank and the National Broadband Network.

They will be delivering virtual work experiences in high-demand roles like software and networking engineering, cyber security, and data science.

TCA’s Acting CEO Mr Ryan Black said the Virtual Work Experience program was an important outcome of the 2022 Jobs and Skills Summit.

“Through this program, young people can expect to get experience in tech occupations that are among the most in-demand across the economy – not just in tech companies, but also in banking, mining, retail, government and professional services,” he said.

“Importantly, our partnership with Year13 will open access to these free virtual work-experience opportunities to all young Australians. Broadening the diversity of the growing tech workforce is an important step towards greater economic and social inclusion in Australia.”

Year13 co-founder and co-CEO Mr Will Stubley said that the partnership is “a huge opportunity for young people and Australia.”

“We have regularly been told by young Australians we work with that they would love to get into a tech or tech-related job, but just don’t know where to start. That’s why we’re proud to offer a program that can help give them the tools to pursue their dreams.”

Minister for Education Jason Clare said the program is now available in schools and is aimed at students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“The tech industry is growing at almost twice the rate of the rest of economy. There are 860,000 Australians working in tech and we need even more,” Mr Clare said.

“This initiative will give students a chance to see if a career in tech is right for them.”

The Virtual Work Experience program can be accessed at https://year13.com.au/virtual-job-experience.

The program will also be available to more than 2,200 schools on the Career Tools platform.

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