Telstra committed to Aussie tech skills development

Monday, 07 December, 2020

Telstra committed to Aussie tech skills development

It’s been a busy time for Telstra, forming partnerships with universities throughout Australia to ensure graduates are equipped with the requisite skills to succeed in a rapidly changing work environment.

Telstra has worked with The University of Melbourne, investing $5.14 million into the Telstra Creator Space fabrication lab at the university’s Melbourne Connect technology and innovation precinct and providing 10 scholarships in STEM that focus on diversity and inclusion.

The company says the estimated shortfall of 60,000 skilled IT workers over the next five years must be met with locally developed skills in order for the nation to excel. It says a highly skilled, diverse and practically trained workforce is crucial and sees meeting this as part of its role as one of Australia’s largest employers and a major driver of the digital economy.

Telstra says investing in STEM will transform Australia into the innovation hub we need to be to help support businesses that are themselves transforming. The organisation believes its partnerships and ongoing collaboration foster that goal.

The Telstra Creator Space provides students, start-ups and other industry members with access to fabrication and prototyping facilities, educational workshops, events and industry-based projects. The lab is designed to give students practical experience and a real-world understanding of concepts.

Why developing technology talent is an urgent issue

Telstra says technology skills shortages in Australia were already an urgent issue before the impact of COVID-19. The need for a boost in student numbers to support transforming businesses and digitisation of our economy is key, with Australia lagging behind other OECD countries in terms of STEM degree enrolments.

By working with universities to enhance student learning and to implement industry placement and work experience, research and career opportunities, Telstra believes it can assist in innovation of curriculum design and delivery, particularly to support the continuous learning or reskilling of those already in the workforce.

The organisation has also partnered with RMIT Online and the University of Technology Sydney on new micro-credential programs covering software-defined networking, data analytics and machine learning. These programs are helping to upskill Telstra’s own teams, but are also open to anyone who is interested. Such partnerships are an example of how business and education providers can collaborate to jointly develop the critical technology skills Australia needs, the company says.

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