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Readify tackles the IT skills shortage in Australia

23 Feb 16

Readify has launched its own two-year graduate training programme in Australia in an effort to address the IT skills shortage in the country.

The programme will recruit four university leavers in its first year. Graduates - or junior developers - will start work in the managed services team for three months to learn the ropes with a mentor, before shadowing consultants on client sites.

Graeme Strange, Readify managing director, says solving the IT skills shortage is not just as simple as getting more students into STEM courses.

“Firstly not enough people enrol in tech degrees, secondly the courses don’t deliver work-ready candidates,” Strange says.

“A bachelor’s degree can only partly equip you for the workplace and it becomes even more acute in the tech sphere where skills rapidly become obsolete. Universities struggle to keep up, and it’s obviously incredibly challenging to continually update a curriculum to remain relevant.

“The industry needs to step up to overhaul the way we train our talent post graduation, in the same way other professions such as legal and accounting tackle this issue.

“This will help ensure IT professionals maintain the right skills to tackle innovation challenges and the disruption occurring in many industries through emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and big data. Not to mention the next wave of disruptive technologies like robotics and holographics,” he says. 

As part of its strategy, Readify says it is not ignoring the need for more STEM students, early age coders, or more relevant curriculum. Currently the company is talking to universities, including UTS and RMIT, to help influence the curriculum and STEM course uptake. 

“We want to build a strong pool of well-rounded developers, data analysts and designers who understand business, and the important role technology innovation plays in driving innovation and productivity agendas,” says Strange. 

“One thing Australia can’t afford to compromise on is skills. While Readify recruits candidates from around the world, we feel it is also our responsibility to invest in and grow local talent. Australians will always be strong consumers of technology but we need to encourage a new generation of ‘creators’ of technology,” he says.

Michelle Ridsdale, Readify’s head of people, says the company wants to become an innovative training leader in the industry.

“We are looking for candidate with a spark, and a knack for solving big problems. Our graduate programme will look for that bigger mindset, then we can build on skills in-house,” Ridsdale says.

”Students will get access to company-wide experts. Our people are superstars in the field, six of them are Microsoft MVPs, all of them are very passionate and love sharing new ideas. They will revel in the opportunity to train the new generation coming through.

“We also see it as a reverse mentorship programme. It’s a chance for our people to develop their leadership skills as well,” she says.

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