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Victoria Upskills Local Workforce for Digital Future

Victorian start-ups are continuing to reap the rewards from the Andrews Labor Government initiatives, with one of the state’s biggest innovation success stories announcing, in May, that it is further expanding its operations.

The Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy unveiled the new Hawthorn office for a Melbourne-based technology company that designs school management software for education providers.

The company supplies more than 1,600 government and private schools with software that improves communication and keeps schools and students connected. It has grown rapidly since 2010 to employ 155 people and was able to help Victorian families and school students during the coronavirus pandemic, as schools turned to remote learning from home.

To build their business beyond Australia, the educational tech firm have been beneficiaries of support from Global Victoria, the Government’s trade facilitation agency that provides a gateway to international economies.

With help from Global Victoria, the company was able to develop opportunities in the UK and take part in a number of successful trade missions and forums, including the virtual Victorian Global Edtech and Innovation Expo held in April 2021.

The local success story is just one example of the growing demand for employees with digital skills, which is why the Labor Government has invested $64 million in the Digital Skills and Jobs Program – which will transition up to 5,000 mid-career workers into digital jobs over the next three years.

The program will offer targeted upskilling and re-skilling opportunities, helping Victorians develop their digital skills, especially those looking to transition to new and exciting opportunities.

With an emphasis on supporting women, who are underrepresented in the digital jobs sector, the program will expand Victoria’s pipeline of digital talent and support the state’s growing tech and start-up sectors.

The Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy noted that the company is an example of a home-grown tech company on the rise, growing local jobs and taking on the world.

“We’re committed to backing our start-up sector, to develop new solutions that improve the way we learn and work, and to create new job opportunities for Victorians,” she added.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the education tech company stated that through Global Victoria, the Victorian Government has helped the firm build a global network to start exporting its software platform and service to school communities around the world.

In Victoria, the demand for people with digital skills is growing, and that means more jobs. In 2019, a market research firm predicted that Victoria will need an extra 33,000 technology workers by 2024.

The Digital Skills and Jobs Program seeks to upskill Victorians aged over 30 and support them to transition into digital jobs. The Victorian Government recognises the wealth of knowledge, experience and skills that mid-career Victorians bring to the workplace, and particularly seeks to support women and people living in regional Victoria or those whose jobs have been affected by COVID to participate in the program.

Over the course of the program, each participant will receive 12 weeks of free training in a high-quality, industry-led, digital course; 12 weeks in a paid digital role with a Victorian business as well as ongoing support from a mentor throughout the program.

By building a strong workforce of Victorians with digital skills, the program also aims to support Victorian businesses seeking to build their digital capability or looking for workers with digital skills.

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