Young Victorians urged to ‘invent tomorrow’ with ICT careers

Technology Portfolio

Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips has today urged young Victorians to ‘invent tomorrow’ by pursuing a career in ICT.

Speaking at the opening of Australia’s premier youth festival of ICT, YITCON 2014, Mr Rich-Phillips said that ICT is a great enabler and presents a myriad of career paths.

“ICT is influencing our businesses, industries and lives at a pace and in ways not contemplated, offering many exciting possibilities for young people,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“Skilled ICT workers can pick which industry they work in and the possibilities are endless, whether you’re creative or analytical, a team player, or you like to invent or build things.

“Many ICT roles do not revolve around traditional ‘tech’ skills, but more around project management, communications, analytics and security,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.  

Mr Rich-Phillips told YITCON participants they were a key focus of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Victorian ICT Workforce Development Plan, launched in June this year.

“ICT is the industry that truly is driving the futures of most other sectors and ‘inventing tomorrow’.

“Young people are one of the most vital resources that Victoria’s ICT industry has. The future prosperity of any city, state and nation depends on the talents, skills and creativity of its young people and I encourage you to pursue studies and a career in ICT and help invent Victoria’s future,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Mr Rich-Phillips particularly encouraged young women to join the ICT industry.
“Women comprise only 20 per cent of our ICT workforce and we need more of their ideas and contributions to drive the industry forward,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Mr Rich- Phillips also announced a grant of $165,000 to Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria to support the delivery of the ‘Work it Out’ program.

The three-year program will provide up to 150 year 10 and 11 ICT secondary school students with three week work experience placements in a diverse range of organisations. The program will also showcase the breadth of opportunities that can stem from a career in ICT.

“These grants are crucial to enabling programs such as ‘Work it Out’ to provide hands-on experience to these students, as well as providing mentoring by industry professionals,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

The annual two-day national YITCON Festival, which presents a diverse range of ICT-related workshops, expos and demonstrations, gets bigger and better each year. More than 1,500 secondary school and university students, as well as young ICT professionals, from across Australia are participating in 2014, with many virtual participants streaming live in other states, as well as in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India.

Mr Rich-Phillips told the audience the Napthine Government was working to ensure the state remains at the heart of Australia’s ICT industry.

“Growing Victoria’s ICT industry is a priority because ICT drives growth, innovation and productivity across the economy, in every sector. It boosts exports, creates jobs and contributes to our health and wellbeing. Digitally driven economic growth is recognised as the cornerstone of a sustainable future,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Media contact: Andrew Drever  0409 580 996 
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