Digital technology industry to help shape national training.

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Digital technology workers could soon gain a more targeted skill set under a new Skills Organisation pilot.

The pilot — announced as part of the Australian Government’s $585 million ‘Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow’ package — will see industry “shape the national training system to be more responsive to [its] particular skills needs” while helping “ensure that employers have confidence in the quality of VET graduates”, according to the government.

The pilot’s ‘steering groups’ will be chaired by the Non-Executive Director ASX, Santos and Cochlear, Yasmin Allen, who brings “extensive experience as an industry leader, with senior roles across a range of sectors at the forefront of digital disruption, including energy, financial services and medical technology”, Federal Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Minister Michaelia Cash said.

Allen believes digital technologies are “essential” to Australia’s economy, with demand for ICT professionals and telecommunications technicians projected to increase by 71,000 workers by 2024, with significant increases also needed in cyber skills to meet that sector’s full potential.

“The rapid pace of technological change brings extraordinary potential. For Australia to thrive in this environment it is critical the training system keeps pace to ensure our people and businesses have the right skills at the right time,” Allen said.

The pilot’s steering groups are expected to lead the development of a governance model, areas of focus and forward work program ahead of more formal entities being formed or engaged later this year, the government explained.

“The pilots will ensure the ongoing availability of a highly skilled workforce. The more industry experience we can bring to the task of designing them, the more effective they will be at building the highly skilled workforce Australian employers need to grow their businesses,” Federal Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships Steve Irons said.

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