Digital Careers, the government-backed program aimed at increasing the uptake of digital skills among school-aged students, has snagged Intel Australia as its latest sponsor.
As part of the sponsorship, Intel will donate 250 Intel Galileo development boards, as well as supporting teacher development to enable them to teach coding and technology design in the classroom.
"With 50 per cent of all jobs predicted to change over the next 10-15 years due to digital technologies, it is vital industry plays a leading role both in helping to inspire and hire young Australians," said Digital Careers national program director, Dr Karsten Schulz.
Digital Careers national co-chair, Marie Johnson, added that the lack of digital capabilities in Australia is a "national crisis."
"The capability of the economy to give rise to the jobs of the future is significantly limited. This is not just a challenge for government to 'solve' - but is a call to action for all industries, especially the ICT industry, to get involved and support the Digital Careers initiative," Johnson said.
Based on a successful pilot in Queensland in 2007, and officially launched in 2014, Digital Careers has seen the number of students commencing tertiary ICT studies in Queensland increase by 50 per cent, and has reached more than 200,000 students across Australia, aged between 8 and 17 years old. The program is a consortium comprised of the Australian Government, as represented by the Department of Communications, National ICT Australia (NICTA), state governments, universities, research institutions and industry. Intel Australia managing director, Kate Burleigh said: "At Intel, we see every day how the rate of technological development is accelerating and Australian industries -- from agriculture to transport, from manufacturing to banking -- are rapidly changing as a result. "The workplaces that our young people will enter will be places where digital skills are highly valued -- and not just how to use or consume technology, but how to create and design it. "Australia wants to be at the forefront of the global innovation economy and to do this we need digital skills and a lot of creativity."