CompTIA launched the initiative through its Australia New Zealand (ANZ) Channel Community on Wednesday with plans to train and certify 3,000 students in the fundamentals of technology .
Under the plans, free courseware materials and certification exam vouchers will be made available to 3,000 students age 25 and under in Australia and New Zealand.
“The goal is to have the students become certified in CompTIA IT Fundamentals, a pre-career professional certification that introduces them to basic technology knowledge and skills to help them decide if a career in tech is right for them,” says CompTIA.
“Today we’re taking the next step; to bring a new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and technologists into our community.”
CompTIA says members of its ANZ Channel Community will leverage their professional networks to bring students and educational institutions into the program – and encourages its partners, along with individual students, to also get involved.
“The technology field is rich with career opportunities, whether you work for an ICT company or in another industry that relies on tech to conduct its business,” said James Bergl, APAC regional director for Datto, a provider of IT solutions delivered by managed service providers and chair of the CompTIA ANZ Channel Community.
“But getting that message out to young people who are beginning to think about their career options has been a major challenge for our industry,” Bergl said.
“Our free training and certification program will address that issue head on.”
“This campaign comes at a crucial time for our industry,” added Daniel Johns, head of services for ASI Solutions, an Australian privately-owned ICT company and vice chair of the CompTIA community.
“Companies continue to seek out new tech talent to fill existing employment shortages and to expand into new areas of emerging technologies,” Johns said.
"In Australia, government research shows an annual increase of 21.5 percent in the demand for information and communications technology professionals, and some 11,600 job openings per year.
“Similarly, the tech industry is a major and growing sector in New Zealand, with exports reaching $950 million in 2016 and the industry growing at an estimated 12 percent per year."
Eligible students who participate in the program will receive free video training and a self-study e-book, as well as a complimentary exam voucher to take the test to become certified in CompTIA IT Fundamentals.
“The CompTIA IT Fundamentals curriculum allows students to explore the foundations of technology, creating a better understanding and mastery of basic digital skills,” said Loraine Vorster, vice president for business development at CompTIA.
“For some, this will serve as a launching pad for a career in tech. Others will be well grounded in the fundamentals of tech that will serve them well in any career they choose to pursue.”