Some Australians that have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to find an entirely new career in as little as three months with a new program aimed at reskilling workers from the travel and tourism industry.
The ‘Airline Industry Retraining’ (AIR) Scholarship Program has been created by the Institute of Data in order to retrain workers from two sectors that have been hardest-hit by the crisis and fast-track them into data and cybersecurity roles.
The tech industry is grappling with a skills shortage and will be in need of 100,000 workers by 2024, according to a report by ACS.
Highly experienced employees in the travel and tourism industry who have been left unemployed or have been made redundant will be eligible for a scholarship of up to 75 per cent off a course that typically costs $17,500.
There are also scholarships of 50 per cent for those with 5 years or more in the industry, or 25 per cent off for those with one year or more in the industry.
A broad spectrum of workers across the industries could be considered eligible for the scholarship, including travel agents, marketing or PR professionals, flight staff and more.
Institute of Data executive director Andrew Campbell said workers in the travel and tourism industries often have relevant skills and qualifications that give them a leg up when retraining for tech roles.
“Many skilled aviation and tourism workers have already been doing data modelling and analysis at work by using tools like Excel every day. Things like aircraft seat allocation, route planning etc. are primarily data-driven jobs, it’s a genuinely good foundation from which to build new Big Data or AI skills,” said Campbell.
“For others in the industry, they’ve had to pass security checks and risk management courses that serve as great indicators for their applicability when working with sensitive data.”
The AIR scholarship program will also equip workers with one-on-one career coaching with experts in the industries, as well as job placement support and industry certification at the end of the course.
“This means we can rapidly upskill Australians on the skills that matter to employers right now, as well as get guidance on where their talents are best suited within these disciplines.”
The course will be 12 weeks full-time or 24 weeks part-time, and graduates will receive industry accreditation and a University Certificate of Completion at the end of the course. Yahoo Finance has reached out to the Institute of Data for comment on how many scholarship positions are available.
Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens.
More than 700,000 people are employed by the tourism industry and more than 100,000 people work in the airline and airports industry, said airline industry analyst Geoffrey Thomas.
More than 80,000 in the airline industry are currently affected, he added.
Unemployed but skilled workers could plug tech shortage
The average salaries of data professionals are more than $126,000 a year, according to the Institute of Data, and cybersecurity skills can command a salary of $99,000 or more, according to PayScale.
Global IT company Unisys’ cyber security industry business developer Gergana Kiryakova said the need for cybersecurity officers in every organisation would rise, and isn’t a job that can be rolled into that of an ‘IT manager’.
Data and cybersecurity experts will be in more demand than ever, indicated Campbell.
“Data is now the most important asset for every business, and the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted this fact to many businesses.
“How well you manage it, protect it and understand it can now determine whether a business succeeds or fails. This is what is driving the demand for jobs now and into the future,” he said.
“As more work is done online, cyber security experts are busier than ever protecting business from the new vulnerabilities associated with remote data access.
“These are exactly the type of jobs that Australians should be training for right now.”
Last week, Generation Australia announced the launch of a completely free 12-week program for selected applicants designed to fast-track unemployed Australians into a new career in web development.