Technology for social justice
Tech Ready students Seth and Isaac with Laura Notman from Infoxchange

First graduates are "Tech Ready" in regional Victoria

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Last week we headed to Victoria’s second city, Geelong, to celebrate the first round of students graduating from our Tech Ready program.

Delivered in partnership with The Gordon and Gforce and funded by the Victorian Government, Tech Ready equips young people with the support and qualifications they need to kick start a career in tech.

The program gives students free tuition in Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology, connects them with industry professionals and provides practical job-readiness workshops from Digital Springboard, our community learning program with Google.

Speaking at the celebration, Infoxchange CEO David Spriggs said that he was lucky to have access to computers even as far back as the early 1980s, as well as great educational and job opportunities in tech. But he acknowledged it can be really challenging for young people who lack those opportunities.

“The road to employment can be tough. What I think is so special about the Tech Ready program are the opportunities to get skills, training and support that will help students to get a foot in the door.”

Seth receiving his Tech Ready certificate

Seth with his Tech Ready certificate

Two young people trying to get their feet in the door are recent Tech Ready graduates Seth and Isaac.

Seth and Isaac went to primary school and high school together in Ocean Grove, a small seaside community near Geelong that has few, if any, employment opportunities in tech. They were really excited for the opportunity to enrol in the program together and start making connections in Geelong’s growing tech industry.

“I didn’t know exactly what I was going to get out of it but I knew it was going to kick start and give me the knowledge to go into the profession that I wanted to,” said Isaac.

“Another good thing was the industry visits and the guest speakers, they were really good. I felt like I gained a lot out of them.”

It was important to both students that the course tuition was fully funded through Tech Ready so that they wouldn’t need to go into debt straight out of high school. “I probably would’ve been less inclined to start a course because of the costs,” said Isaac.

Being part of Tech Ready has cemented Seth and Isaac’s aspirations to work in tech, and they’re feeling more confident that it’s achievable. They’re both looking forward to completing further study before looking for tech jobs in the Geelong area.

Member for Geelong MP Christine Couzens with Gforce GM of Commercial Operations Cam Quinten

Christine Couzens MP with Gforce GM of Commercial Operations Cam Quinten

Member for Geelong MP Christine Couzens, who opened the event, said that Tech Ready is making an important contribution to Victoria’s regions.

“We’re proud to have helped fund Tech Ready because we know how valuable it is to help young people gain digital skills to assist them to break into the digital tech and innovation workforce in Victoria,” she said.

“This is especially important in our regions where it’s vital everyone has access to the same opportunities.”

We’re excited to be continuing the Tech Ready program in Geelong next year as well as expanding to two other regional centres. In partnership with GOTAFE, NE Tracks LLEN and Goulburn Murray LLEN, the program will run in Shepparton and Wangaratta starting in February.

 

Find out more about Tech Ready and how to register your interest here.

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