The Tech Council Australia (TCA) has launched a national virtual work experience program for tech jobs that will be delivered in partnership with leading education group Year13. CBA, along with some of Australia’s leading tech companies and members of the Digital Employment Forum, including Microsoft and nbn®, have signed up as initial program partners. They will be delivering virtual work experiences in high-demand roles like software and networking engineering, cyber security, and data science.

Robyn Denholm, Chair of the Tech Council who led the launch on behalf of the TCA, said, “Tech jobs are amongst the fastest-growing and best-paid jobs in our 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, it’s a very egalitarian industry, 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.

“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 from today. It will connect secondary school students and post-school leavers facing increased barriers to employment, including those with a disability, with the TCA’s network of tech partners to help build awareness of the great jobs available in the tech sector and provide them with a clear pathway towards employment in the industry.

Ryan Black, Acting CEO of the Tech Council said, "Getting young people excited about tech careers is an important part of achieving our shared goal with the Australian Government of having 1.2 million people in tech jobs by 2030.

“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.

“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.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the Australian Government, state and territory governments and social services groups to support the rollout of the program in secondary schools and to post-school leavers facing barriers to employment.”

Year13 co-founder and co-CEO, 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.

“This is about making sure that all young people have an equal chance at getting into the career of their dreams, and finding a path that speaks to them.”

Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager Human Resources, Technology & Operations, Jane Adams stated that the partnership “offers the opportunity to take part in a truly impactful initiative.

“Tech has become central to everything we do for our customers, and we’re excited to play our part in ensuring that Australia’s work-experience programs can keep up with the pace of change we’re seeing in the industry.”

“Microsoft is thrilled to participate in this groundbreaking program, which perfectly aligns with our commitment to enhancing the digital skills and capability of Australians,” said John Galligan General Manager, Corporate External and Legal Affairs at Microsoft.

“By providing accessible, inclusive and practical tech job pathways, we are not only preparing young Australians for the future – we are actively shaping a diverse and dynamic workforce that is essential for our national progress.”

Anne Marie Baldwin, Head of Talent, Culture and Capability at nbn® said, “nbn® is proud to be part of this innovative approach to career development and help students gain valuable insights that may open the door to explore diverse career paths into our booming industry.” 

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