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New Tech Skills Passport Launched in Australia

A new technology skills passport has been developed by the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN). It will aid in equipping workers with the skillset they will require in the rapidly growing tech sector. This initiative falls under a $5 million election commitment, announced recently by the Coalition.

Through this new tech skills passport, workers will be able to match their existing skills and experience with the needs of the tech sector and navigate a path through the university and vocational education sectors. This initiative will build on ATN universities’ tradition of training students to engage and mould the world of work via flexible, adaptive and innovative education.

By 2025, Australia will need nearly 300,000 new tech workers. The nation will also require 12,000 university and VET graduates as well as 60,000 upskilled and reskilled workers more than it is currently preparing. To quicken the process, ATN universities will partner with vocational education providers and the tech industry to co-design, deliver and identify skills, and provide career support to help people capitalise on their skills.

The tech skills passport will also benefit from the work ATN has done with Designing Your Future – a short course that equips workers with a toolbox to solve problems, determine what they want in a career, and take practical steps towards their career goals.

The ATN Chair stated that the initiative is an answer to ATN’s calls for the Government to partner with universities and industry to deliver solutions to fill urgent and persistent skills requirements, flexibly meet emerging needs, and create a vision to address Australia’s challenges and opportunities. He noted that the three-way partnership between universities, industry and the Government is vital to enabling the delivery of improved outcomes for industry, workers and the economy.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the ATN noted that the coalition is proud to have the opportunity to develop a tech skills passport which builds on the very best of ATN universities’ experience in preparing students for the world of work, delivering innovative education options, and partnering with industry and vocational education.

Upskilling and reskilling Australians

To drive its commitment to make Australia a top ten data and digital economy by 2030, the Government of Australia launched the Digital Skills Cadetship Trial in late March 2022. The trial will blend work placements and on-the-job learning with formal training, helping cadets put classroom lessons into practice and matching employers with the brightest tech talent.

The trial is expected to focus on growing fields including cybersecurity, cloud computing and data analytics, and to target cohorts including those who have been displaced as a result of COVID-19 or are returning to the workforce.

The trial will have a strong focus on supporting women in the tech workforce including women who are considering a mid-career change or are re-entering the workforce after a break. Each cadetship will span four to six months and may include vocational or higher education units, plus industry training.

The Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business stated that the trial is part of building a pipeline of digitally-capable workers that will deliver Australian businesses the skills they need to innovate — and individuals the opportunities to help them succeed.

The Digital Skills Cadetship Trial will provide $10.7 million to support innovative approaches to cadetships for digital career paths and to increase the number of Australians with digital skills. The Minister noted, “We’re investing more than $100 million in digital talent to future-proof Australia’s economy and cadetships are just one measure — we’re funding cyber projects and scholarships in emerging technologies, including AI, across Australia as part of our national Digital Economy Strategy.”

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