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Jobs program to boost digital workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way many industries operate. In some cases, like the tech industry, it’s accelerated the demand for talent.  In others like hospitality, airlines and retail it’s disrupted the well-established careers of many workers.

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Companies everywhere are considering the digital skills they need to ensure their workforce is set up for whatever comes next. A recent report from Accenture found the Australian tech economy generates $167 billion annually and employs about 861,000 people. The tech sector has generated 65,000 jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, second only to retail, with 1 in 16 working Australians employed in the industry

“Employees who come to us from other roles bring maturity and professional skills as well as experiential and cognitive diversity which can help us think differently about solutions for our customers and staff.”

More broadly, a new report from McKinsey and Co identifies huge opportunities in re-skilling workforces in the digital economy, particularly where those skills are in short supply.

“Banks have had to make more creative use of various levers to deploy talent dynamically and to build future workforces, including reskilling (training an employee for a new job), upskilling (training an employee on additional skills in an existing job), and redeployment (assigning an employee to a new task),” McKinsey found. “They are also building infrastructure to support effective upskilling and redeployment (including learning factories and job-matching platforms).”

We see exactly these trends and that is why ANZ is a founding partner in the Victorian Government’s new Digital Jobs program, which launched recently and aims to boost the state’s digital workforce and create new opportunities for experienced workers.

Over the next three years the $A64 million initiative will seek to train and upskill 5,000 mid-career Victorians so they can transition into digital careers. The candidates will complete a six-month program that includes 12 weeks of industry-backed training followed by 12 weeks in a digital job with a business.

ANZ is the only bank involved in the program – the first of its kind in Australia – and will be joined by other major companies including Salesforce, Carsales, Zendesk, Amazon and MYOB.

We know many people are looking for new careers after their livelihoods were impacted by COVID-19. So in many ways it’s a perfect time for us and other partners to provide job placements and training to these participants as they embark on the next phase of their journey.

But this is not about experienced people feeling as if they have to start from scratch. It’s about re-igniting their career in another area. Employees who come to us from other roles bring maturity and professional skills as well as experiential and cognitive diversity which can help us think differently about solutions for our customers and staff.

And businesses benefit too from staff with a wide range of experience and backgrounds. Diversity is a commercial and economic imperative for ANZ and diverse teams reflect our communities and our customers.

ANZ has already selected 30 candidates who will begin their work placement with the bank in October 2021 across our Institutional, Finance, Data, Design, Marketing and Technology teams. Participants will be supported with buddies and coaches so they can thrive and do meaningful work as they learn.

Research tells us that even in the tech sector, soft skills are really important. Communications, collaboration, teamwork, problem solving and learning agility are all very important. Such skills often develop in our lived experiences and as we move into the future ANZ will continue to need people who will listen, learn and adapt.

Through the Digital Jobs program we are looking for people who want to learn, who are curious, who want to ask questions and try new things.

Kathryn van der Merwe is Group Executive Talent & Culture at ANZ

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