ACS Gateway to Industry Schools Program Update and Call for Industry Partners

17 February 2021

Highlights

The ACS Gateway to Industry Schools Program for ICT (GISP) aims to shine a light on career pathways and opportunities in technology for secondary students throughout Queensland. Find out more about how you can get involved as an industry partner.

‘Digital technology underpins daily life. Information technology (IT) powers almost everything we do: from work and shopping, to entertainment and communication.’

(2020 Digital Pulse, Executive Summary)

ICT is one of 10 Gateway to Industry School Program (GISP) industries, and the only one that is integral to the function of all industries.

Since being awarded the ICT GISP tender from the Queensland Government in March 2020, the ICT GISP Project Manager Matthew Jorgensen has been busy building a network of schools and industry partners across Queensland who are committed to increasing the pipeline of students transitioning to become ICT workers.

The ACS membership in Queensland has been very supportive. Members from organisations such as Protech, CyberMetrix, BIGJUMP, CyberGuru, JCU, TechBiz Innovators, KPPRO, RIoT Solutions, CQUniversity and TAFE have already offered their services to mentor students and teachers, host students for work experience, approve teaching resources and deliver industry-based presentations.

The program is focusing on the learning and career opportunities in four overlapping technology spaces in 2021; Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Immersive Technologies.

Secondary schools are limited in the depth of disciplines such as software development, but are able to engage students with programming, 3D printing, design, data manipulation, networking fundamentals and cloud computing.

Inspiring students to choose electives such as Digital Technologies and Digital Solutions is an important factor in a post-secondary choice of Vocational or Tertiary education in the ICT Industry. Through educational incursions, class excursions, teacher professional development, virtual and face to face expert presentations and access to curriculum resources, teachers and students are gaining insights into a career in technology.

The stories of some industry contacts are amazing; one company owner had no history with computers until he started a Computer Science course. Now he runs a robotics company and writes software for simulators and programming robots. Another serial entrepreneur just sold a start-up to a global company for $25,000,000. Each road to a career is varied. If we all had expert mentors when we were in school, maybe we would have realised our goals earlier on in our careers.

Any ACS members who want to actively influence the number of students who enter the ICT workforce through class excursions, work experience placements or supporting classroom learning can find out more at: https://qldictgisp.acs.org.au/partners.html.

You can contact Matthew Jorgensen, ACS GISP Project Manager for more information: [email protected]