Women in Canberra have been offered a boost up into the IT profession with the launch of a new program by ACS.

Launched last week by Minister for Skills, Chris Steel, the ‘Supporting Women Transitioning to an ICT career’ pre-traineeship program will support 40 Canberran women considering a digital technology career.

ACS Canberra Chair, Peter O’Halloran, said “modelling suggests the ACT tech workforce will continue to grow at an annual rate of 5.5 percent until 2026”.

“One opportunity to increase the technology workforce are to increase its gender diversity - our annual Digital Pulse report on the state of the IT workforce last year found only 29 percent of the tech sector are women - and reskilling in technology knowledge is one way we can address that imbalance.”

The 12-month program will build participants’ personal confidence, bridge knowledge gaps in basic areas of IT, and provide a support network with 40 experienced female IT professional mentors also participating in the program.

“Participants do not have an IT background and are first time workforce entrants, re-entering the workforce and those who are transitioning from other industry sectors,” said Mr O’Halloran.

“The program’s structure will overcome barriers such as a lack of role models, stereotypes and biases starting at school and the lack of awareness of career paths.”

The goal is for participants to have secured employment and entered a traineeship at the end of the program.

“One key element is to find work experience opportunities for the participants, and we are calling for assistance from employers, especially those considering appointing an entry level IT trainee.”

“I am delighted to be launching the ‘Supporting Women Transitioning to an ICT Career’ program, providing supported pathways for women to pursue a career in digital technology,” Minister Steel said.

“Addressing barriers for women entering the IT industry has the potential to address skills shortages in the IT industry while at the same time enhancing workplace equity and inclusion.”

The ‘Supporting Women Transitioning to an ICT Career’ program receives funding support from the ACT and Australian Governments through the Future Skills for Future Jobs Grants Program, under the National Partnership on the Skilling Australians Fund.

Participants must be based in Canberra to take part.

The program does not currently require any more mentors and there are just 7 participant spots left. An expression of interest form must be submitted by this Friday, 8 July.