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Wednesday, 24 February 2021 22:32

Optus says 'yes' to upskilling with Optus U

Optus vice president of human resources Kate Aitken Optus vice president of human resources Kate Aitken

Optus is working to head off skills shortages by forming Optus U in conjunction with universities, TAFEs and other organisations.

Optus vice president of human resources Kate Aitken said "To meet the demands of new technologies, it's critical that we ensure our people have the right skills and capabilities in place to drive Optus into the future and deliver for our customers across multiple digital domains."

115 Optus employees are already undertaking accredited qualifications in areas including customer experience, data and analytics, and artificial intelligence.

Additional programs covering 5G, cloud technology, Internet of Things and cybersecurity are planned this year, and at least 300 more employees are expected to participate.


The courses are delivered through a mix of digital and face-to-face sessions.

La Trobe University and Macquarie University are two of the first organisations providing curriculums and programs for Optus U.

"We are delighted to be supporting Optus in developing their offer to employees. Optus U makes the most of La Trobe University's versatility and experience in tailoring advanced short and award courses to match industry needs." said La Trobe University deputy vice-chancellor for education, Professor Nicolette Lee.

"La Trobe's teaching team for Optus U are leaders at turning their world-leading research on Automation and Artificial Intelligence into practical tools and technologies which will equip Optus U students with micro-credentials focused on their real-world needs."

Macquarie University faculty of science and engineering executive dean Magnus Nyden said "Optus U is a great example of how we're changing the way we offer learning.

"By working closely with Optus to design these micro-credentials, we can provide smaller, flexible, portable, credentialed learning designed to help organisations upskill their workforce, and adapt to busy workforce schedules to access education and build new capabilities."

As part of the program, participating Optus employees receive study leave and access to coaches and business sponsors.

Optus senior manager of consumer ops automation and support Rhonda Thompson said "Optus U has given me a fantastic opportunity to upskill and keep myself current.

"I'm a more mature employee and would not bother to go out and do a university course on my own, but with Optus bringing it to me, I have the opportunity to continue to learn and in turn benefit the company with my new skills and knowledge."

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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