Revolutionary partnership tackles digital skills demand

Published: 9 Dec 2021

Released by: The Premier, Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education


Technology leader Microsoft, University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University will join forces with TAFE NSW to pilot the State’s first Institute of Applied Technology for Digital Technology, a new revolutionary education model.

Premier Dominic Perrottet today unveiled the partners of the Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) for Digital Technology, which is under construction as part of the $154 million Meadowbank Education Preccinct.

“This innovative partnership will see students merge the knowledge gained through university study with the hands-on technical skills acquired through vocational education, all in the one model,” Mr Perrottet said.

“To have a global technology leader like Microsoft as the foundational industry partner for the Institute of Applied Technology for Digital Technology is a no-brainer. It means NSW jobseekers will be getting the absolute best vocational training supported by industry leaders and world-leading universities.”

Students who study at the IAT for Digital Technology can gain credentials at all academic levels of study they undertake, including a certificate, a diploma or bachelor’s degree. Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the IAT in Digital Tech will play a critical role in developing a strong and robust technology workforce in NSW and addressing industry-wide skills shortages.

“The IAT for Digital Technology will first focus on the three signature disciplines of big data, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence, ensuring the next generation of IT professionals can rise to the tech industry’s rapidly changing needs,” Mr Lee said.

“These partners will create industry-led and embedded training programs, including Micro Skills and Micro-Credentials, Masterclasses, and Industry Credentialing to allow for rapid upskilling of our tech workforce.”

Minister for Digital and Member for Ryde Victor Dominello said the IAT will also deliver new ICT traineeships, which will develop and support budding IT professionals through the creation of training and employment opportunities in NSW public-sector agencies.

“This partnership will transform Meadowbank into an education and employment powerhouse and prepare local students for the jobs of the future,” Mr Dominello said.

Managing Director of Microsoft Australia and New Zealand Steven Worrall said he was proud to partner with TAFE NSW and university partners to nurture tangible skills among the next generation of homegrown talent.

“The speed at which technology evolves requires an agile approach to education – one that arms students with real-world skills that meet current workforce needs while futureproofing our nation’s technology capabilities.

“We are proud to be working with TAFE NSW and university partners to build a new educational model and student experience that is by nature flexible, scalable, accessible, and promotes greater diversity of thought across the industry.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Technology Sydney Professor Andrew Parfitt said the IAT will support the people of NSW by providing integrated education pathways and job opportunities driven by industry demand.

“UTS is proud to produce graduates that are next-generation leaders with real-world experience and digital transformation skills in new and emerging fields,” Mr Parfitt said. Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University Professor Bruce Dowton said the collaborative model would allow the IAT to be agile in responding to change across all sectors.

“Digital skills are in demand while the fast pace of technological change continues to impact the skill needs of the current and future workforce,” Mr Dowton said.

“Providing training in emerging digital technology skill areas will be vital, not only for jobs in digital technology but also for jobs across all sectors, where digital tools and new technologies are reshaping roles and the future of work.”

The IAT for Digital Technology is due to open in August 2022. 

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