Free online courses to target skills shortage in tech sector

Thursday, 15 October, 2020

Free online courses to target skills shortage in tech sector

An Australian technology sector collaboration, led by Adobe, has led to the launch of Skill Finder, a free micro-skills marketplace available for all Australians looking to upskill in the wake of COVID-19.

Skill Finder offers hundreds of online courses focused on technical and digital micro-skills spanning 12 categories and 144 sub-categories across creative graphic design, coding, artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, cloud computing, accounting software, business tools and content marketing.

Course levels range from basic to advanced, with many of the skills gained being suitable pathways to accredited qualifications.

When visiting the site, users are guided by an assisted user experience guide, ‘Jesse’, to the most relevant courses based on information a person chooses to share about their professional background, current expertise and future interest ideas.

The technology collaboration was developed in response to a call for action from the Hon. Minister Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Skill Finder was built free of charge by Melbourne-based technology company Balance Internet.

The upfront cost of Adobe Analytics and Adobe Magento Commerce was provided by Adobe for free, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) providing cloud services to support the website.

Atlassian, Canva, MYOB, Xero, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Salesforce and Twitter have all contributed free courses and micro-skills. Minister Andrews noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the value of digital skills and predicted that they will become more relevant and useful over time.

“We need to make sure Australians have the skills they need to take advantage of the jobs that industry will create. The broad selection of courses on offer through Skill Finder are what Australia needs to drive digital transformation and innovation, ultimately delivering growth and jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

James Horne, Managing Director of Balance Internet, said the idea for Skill Finder was borne out of a hackathon the company hosted months ago. “It’s our belief that 10% or even more of Australia’s total workforce could immediately upskill as part of this initiative,” Horne said.

Suzanne Steele, Adobe Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, said Australian companies of all sizes will also benefit from a newly accredited, digitally skilled workforce, which can help them deliver exceptional digital experiences.

“We are confident that Skill Finder will help any Australian looking to sharpen digital skills and knowledge as they re-enter the workforce or choose to change direction within it,” Steele said.

Image credit: ©

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