The unique program - Step IT Up Australia - has been implemented during NAIDOC Week which started on 4 July and ran until Sunday.
The IT developer bootcamp program runs for 6 months, with the first cohort of 14 starting in March this year.
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Features of the Step IT Up Australia program are:
- Participants are paid while they learn.
- The first cohort consists of unemployed women and people from Indigenous backgrounds.
- Participants are promoted after graduation to work in partner company for 12 months.
- Partner company can employ as direct employee 12 months after graduation.
“Participants in UST’s Step IT Up program in Australia are paid during their six months training and, after graduation are promoted to work in the partner company for twelve months,” said Richard Telleria, Managing Director, UST, Australia and New Zealand.
“After the initial placement, the partner company can choose to directly employ the graduate.
“As a leader, transforming lives through technology and being able to give back to the community is so important to me,” said Telleria.
UST Australia is working with Macquarie Bank for the first cohort that will see graduated students working for the world-class Australian digital bank, known for its Agile culture and best practice technology delivery.
Other activities undertaken by participants in the Step IT Up Australia program include Java, Agile delivery and mindset, and also receive broad technology and career training with exposure to a corporate environment.
Here’s comments by two of the first cohort participants in the Step IT Up Australia program:
Indie Fernando, 18, from Bediagal Country:
- “Before I came across UST’s Step IT Up Australia program, I had already enrolled myself in a course at a university in Sydney. I’m not sure what compelled me to make this decision, but it felt right. Joining the program has become a turning point in my life and one of the best decisions that I’ve made.”
- “It feels incredible to be able to code at such a young age. I am excited to enter the corporate world in just a span of six intensive months of technical training and professional development.”
- “Step IT Up has even helped me connect more with my culture. Being surrounded by other classmates from Indigenous communities, it has inspired me to learn more about my Wiradjuri heritage.”
- “With my mum’s family from Wiradjuri Country and my father’s side from Sri Lanka, it has been amazing to be exposed to the senior management and all the diversity there.
Jesse McCubbin, 24, from Worimi Country:
- “Step IT Up Australia came as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to be able to make a career pivot—from being a construction worker to a software developer.”
- “When I first heard about the program, it sounded really intensive, a little scary, but it also excited me. Four months in and I feel so grateful to be a part of the first ever group.”
- “Another bonus Step IT Up is giving me is a level of independence that I had been searching for, to move my life in a different direction and give me more opportunities.”