The Australian Government supports the expansion of Skill Finder

Last year, we created Skill Finder, a digital micro-skill marketplace to help Australian workers upskill and reskill. Learn how the Australian Government continues to support the initiative.

By Suzanne Steele

Posted on 05-14-2021

The “Digital Revolution” has been at the forefront of conversation for some time, and now it is here in spades. Since COVID-19 first hit – a little over a year ago – we have seen an acceleration of digital, irreversibly changing the way we connect, work and play. This rapid transformation shows no sign of slowing down and has renewed the urgency to upskill and reskill our workforce for this digital-first economy.

Last year, the Australian tech sector came together to tackle this challenge in response to a call for action from the then Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews. The aim was to provide a free resource to support the Australian workforce, getting them back into jobs by providing people with the tools to upskill and reskill for an evolved digital business landscape.

The result was Skill Finder – a digital micro-skills marketplace where Australian workers and businesses can acquire in-demand, immediately applicable digital micro-skills for free. This world-first industry-wide collaboration saw initial participation from 12 leading technology companies, including Atlassian, Canva, MYOB, and Xero, who all contributed free courses, as did Adobe, AWS, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Twitter.

Digital literacy is more important than ever since the pandemic, as suggested by Andrews, who states, “The broad selection of courses on offer through Skill Finder are what Australia needs to drive digital transformation and innovation, ultimately delivering growth and jobs”.

In six short months since the launch of Skill Finder, we have seen a tremendous response, receiving more than 100,000 unique visitors and nearly 10,000- course enrollments. We have doubled our course providers to 24 and expanded our content, now offering more than 1,250 courses. New course providers include Apple, Accenture, Cisco, Facebook, SAP, VMWare, Mongo DB, The Trade Desk Academy, Udemy, and Be Connected, an Australian Government initiative committed to increasing the confidence, skills, and online safety of older Australians.

Following all the hard work and subsequent success of this proof of concept, we are delighted that the Australian Federal Government has provided a $2.7 million grant to move Skill Finder into the next phase of production. This includes optimising the user experience, building out new features and functionality, adding more courses and categories, and connecting users to relevant job boards.

This grant will go a long way in enabling Australian workers and small businesses to acquire the digital skills needed to drive digital transformation and innovation. Ultimately, we believe Skill Finder will aid in employment and reemployment, contribute to long-term productivity and business resilience, and ensure Australia can build on the digital momentum gained through the pandemic.

It’s great to see the impact of this collaboration and its future potential. A big thanks to all the companies that have contributed so far, especially our partner Balance Internet, who built the platform free of charge. This small team donated hundreds of hours of their time to develop the site – working nights and weekends, remotely and in lockdown, to deliver this important resource for the Australian workforce. Balance Internet continues to be the custodian of the platform’s development with continued support from the broader tech sector.

At Adobe, our mission is to change the world through digital experience, striving to solve pertinent issues faced by our society through tech and innovation. Skill Finder is another piece of this puzzle. I am confident that Skill Finder will encourage more Australians to learn highly sought-after digital skills and have set an ambitious target to have 500,000+ unique visitors to the site by the end of the year.

I see a bright future for the platform and its evolution as we look to raise awareness over the coming months, add new features and functionality, and see how we can replicate the platform in other countries. We look forward to taking our learnings from this unique initiative to help other governments and technology communities around the world arm their workforce with the digital skills of the future.

Topics: Future of Work, News, Community, Education, COVID-19, APAC,