Media Release, 16 October 2019

Telstra partners with five Australian universities to better prepare the workforce of the future

Wednesday 16 October 2019: Telstra today announced it will partner with five Australian universities to jointly develop the skills and capabilities students will require for the future of work. This is part of the company’s commitment to address critical skills shortages in Australia in areas such as network and software engineering, cyber security and data analytics.

Telstra has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with RMIT University, University of Melbourne, UNSW Sydney, University of Sydney, and University of Technology Sydney.

Telstra will work with each university to enhance student learning through providing input into curriculums, industry placements and integrated work experiences, research and innovation opportunities, and early access to career opportunities. 

Telstra Chief Executive Officer Andrew Penn said these partnerships were one way Telstra planned to build Australia’s technology talent and close the gap between the demand and supply of highly-skilled professionals.

“Telstra is committed to working with education institutions, industry partners and government to build a bigger pipeline of technology graduates in Australia, for the overall benefit of the nation,” Mr Penn said. 

“Today, we cannot find enough of the skills we need in Australia on the scale we need them. This is not a challenge unique to Telstra, with an estimatedi shortfall of 60,000 skilled ICT workers in Australia over the next five years. 

“By investing time, money and energy into these partnerships, we aim to provide clarity on the skills we need and create more opportunities for students to develop them. Together with universities, we will boost the supply of diverse technology graduates for our own workforce, and the nation.” 

Telstra is committed to ensuring the future talent pipeline is increasingly diverse. To do this, the partnerships will look at ways to build awareness of and curiosity in technology careers as well as engage students before they reach university, including high school student outreach programs. 

It is not just students that will benefit from these partnerships. Telstra is also co-creating enterprise technology education for its existing employees as part of its wider training strategy. Investing around $25 million in FY20, Telstra expects 10 per cent of its workforce to develop a new skill to help meet the needs of the organisation. 

The MoUs will remain in place for a minimum two-year term. Telstra is currently working with each university to prioritise the first set of initiatives under these agreements. 

These agreements build on an established list of partnerships Telstra has across secondary and tertiary institutions to create opportunities for young Australians to build relevant skills for the future. Telstra has also signed an MOU with Mahindra Ecole Centrale College of Engineering in India to help build the pipeline of talent supporting its global operations. 

In addition, Telstra’s early careers program – including its Summer Vacation Program and Telstra Graduate Program – offers a pathway for students looking to gain industry experience as they near the end of, or complete, their studies. 

Media contact: Jonathon Larkin 
M: 0477 310 149