Australian companies have regularly lamented the shortage of local tech workers – a problem that has only been exacerbated since the pandemic severely slowed skilled migration.

So, what if you could train up a new set of IT professionals and have them job-ready in 13 weeks?

That’s the aim of Generation Australia, a global non-profit education provider that started offering its free junior web developer course to Australians in mid-2020.

Restricted to people not currently in employment, education, or training, the Generation Australia program looks to bridge the gap between unemployment and a new career in IT.

Participants then get the full bootcamp experience with training from 9am to 5pm every weekday for thirteen weeks, which includes employer engagement and mentorship.

CEO of Generation Australia, Malcolm Kinns, told Information Age the organisation places, on average, 84 per cent of participants into an entry-level job.

“Our model is demand led,” he said. “We try to understand the volume side of things and understand what challenges [employers] have finding and keeping good talent.

“I’m not just talking about tech skills – we try to understand what are the mindsets and behaviours that make a difference for an organisation.

“Things like communication, adaptability, resilience, flexibility, teamwork – we know there are different components of a job and different personal skills employers need.”

Over 250 people have already been through the Generation Australia web development program.

Lauren Oakes, CEO of digital marketing company Megaphone Marketing said she was really happy finding a new web developer, Catalina.

“Having come straight out of the web development course from Generation Australia, her knowledge was fresh and she was ready to take on new challenges,” Oakes said.

“We have struggled to find web developers through traditional channels and were very pleased to hire Catalina.”

Kinns said the organisation offers support for its graduates in the months following employment to help transition them into their careers.

“One thing we build into our programs is future orientation,” he said. “A lot of learning is self-driven – especially in tech.

“We want to impart an attitude that sees them keep learning and keep developing, so they are always building toward future opportunities.”

Generation Australia is currently engaging with employers and cloud providers to create a pathway for students to become cloud engineers and is partnering with Accenture to deliver the next program.

Accenture Australia/New Zealand cloud lead, Matt Coates, said the upcoming cloud engineer course is poised to help increase the number of cloud specialists in Australia.

“We are delighted to be working with Generation Australia to help unlock the immense talent and potential of underemployed Australians and support them in developing the skills necessary to pursue a career in cloud development," he said.

“We found our strategy to drive cloud innovation in Australia and our commitment to hiring local talent from diverse backgrounds to be very well aligned with Generation Australia’s admirable mission to close the youth unemployment gap – and we are very excited to see the bright new talent that will emerge from this relationship.”