Students dive into digital careers for National Careers Week


The NSW Government is supporting more than 500 students across NSW to gain hands-on experience with cloud computing through a groundbreaking Virtual Work Placement Program.

During the week-long program, students will gain insights into how generative artificial intelligence and machine learning can be leveraged by businesses to drive growth and foster innovation.

The Australian-first initiative gives vocational and educational training (VET) students the opportunity to earn industry credentials and explore potential career paths in the digital sector.

30% of participating schools dialed in from regional NSW, from Tweed Heads in the north, Mourya in the south and Wagga Wagga in the south-west.

The program, a collaboration between the NSW Government, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the Youth Futures Network, addresses a critical skills shortage highlighted by a recent AWS study that found 90% of employers envision their companies becoming AI-driven organisations by 2028.

The NSW Digital Compact, a strategic initiative launched by the NSW Government is aimed at driving digital transformation across the state.

The compact serves as a framework between government, industry, academia and the community to accelerate digital innovation, enhance digital capabilities and improve service delivery.

This collaborative effort marks a significant step forward in addressing the digital skills gap in NSW, ensuring a robust and inclusive digital workforce for the future.

Get more information on the NSW Digital Compact.

Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education Minister, Steve Whan today had the opportunity to speak with teachers and students participating in the Virtual Placement Week.

Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education Steve Whan said:

“I’m thrilled to see such enthusiasm and dedication from the 550 VET students participating in this ground-breaking Virtual Work Placement Program during National Careers Week.

“This initiative represents a significant opportunity for students to explore exciting digital career paths and encourages them to think about a future in the digital world.

“The Virtual Work Placement Program is just one example of the innovative initiatives stemming from the NSW Digital Compact that I launched late last year. It’s fantastic to see collaboration between government and industry to accelerate digital innovation.

“The NSW Digital Compact represents a significant opportunity for Government to work with industry to change people’s idea of ‘tech,’ expanding the inclusivity of the sector.

“By investing in programs like the Virtual Work Placement Program, we are laying the groundwork for a digitally skilled workforce and a thriving digital ecosystem in NSW.

“We’re not just bridging the skills gap; we’re building pathways for thousands of students, parents, and advisors to explore and embrace tech careers.”

Amazon Web Services, Australia and New Zealand Director of Enterprise, Louise Stigwood, said:

“Amazon Web Services is committed to fostering the skills and empowering the next generation of cloud talent.

“A recent study, commissioned by AWS titled “Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Workforce of Australia for Jobs of the Future”, found 90% of employers envision their companies becoming AI-driven organisations by 2028 – cloud skills are key to future jobs.

“This Virtual Work Placement Program provides students with invaluable hands-on experience working with cloud computing technologies that are transforming industries around the world.

“We are proud to collaborate with the NSW Government on this initiative to help equip students with the digital skills they need to thrive in an increasingly cloud-enabled workforce.”

/Public Release. View in full here.