Our Business Technology Services (BTS) Academy is training future network and security talent as part of a three-year training program. Christopher Smith shares more about the program and how it’s addressing a critical skills shortage in these specialist areas.

As organisations look to digitise their business, they are increasingly seeking integrated solutions for their network, security and cloud infrastructure, as well as advice on how to implement and manage these. As demand for these services increases we need to further develop the specialist skills needed to deliver them, which are in short supply across the industry.

A recent report we commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to undertake, called Connecting Capabilities: The Asian Digital Transformation Index, found that only 16 per cent of organisations surveyed in the Asia Pacific region consider it ‘very easy’ to find employees with the skills needed to support their digitisation efforts. Our 2017 Cyber Security report found similar issues, with senior IT leaders and C-suite executives across Australia and Asia acknowledging that it is difficult to find skilled cyber security talent.

How we’re developing future talent through the Academy

Our BTS Academy is designed to develop future network and security talent – two areas of most importance to organisations as they digitise their business.

Our first intake of 29 started in October 2016. When selecting this group, we not only looked at capability, but diversity as well. The result is a group with diversity in age, cultural background and linguistic ability, as well as life experience – some came onboard straight from university and TAFE while others have transitioned from other careers.

During an intensive six month training period they were put through their paces with professional and technical training, in addition to working on customer projects across a range of industries. This culminated with many in the group receiving industry certification from the Australian Computer Society (ACS) in addition to racking up a total of 101 technical qualifications and experience providing consulting services for 45+ customers.

This group is now working within our BTS group, which provides business and technology consulting services, project management and managed services to business customers. They will continue to receive technical and professional development for the remainder of the program.

Our second intake has been selected from almost 1000 applications and we are pleased to see a better gender balance this time around with 40 per cent female representation. These 25 new participants will join us next week.

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Find out what more we’re doing to tackle the merging skills gap in the telco and technology sector