Australian youth to upskill in high-demand sectors through over 1000 free courses

SOURCE: William West/AFP
Thousands of Australian youth have become unemployed due to lockdowns and economic downturn in Australia.

By U2B Staff 

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To help youth in Australia gain employment, Skillsoft is providing free access to online courses for those supported by Talent RISE. Skillsoft is an American educational technology company that produces learning management system software and content.

Talent RISE is the charity arm of Talent International, offers education, training, work readiness programs, and job placement opportunities for young people who experience challenging barriers to employment.

Unemployment rates are skyrocketing worldwide due to the pandemic, and Australia is no exception. According to Skillsoft, youth employment – those from 15 to 24 years old – hit 16.3% last month, which is more than double the Australian unemployment rate of 7.5% and the highest level recorded since mid-1998.

Fidelity International cross-asset specialist Anthony Doyle said that the figure is actually closer to 32%. “Arguably, the unemployment rate is not reflecting the true devastation that Covid-19 has had on Australia’s 15-24-year-old workforce, given a large proportion are employed in the heavily impacted food service, retail, hospitality, and tourism sectors.”

“To attempt to gain a true picture of the impact of Covid-19 lockdown measures on Australia’s youth workforce, we can calculate an unemployment rate based on the assumption that those who dropped out of the labour force in April and May continued to look for a job.

“Under this assumption, Australia’s youth unemployment rate is currently 26.8%, rather than the official figure of 16.1% for May.”

Youth in Austalia are more likely to be impacted by unemployment as there is a greater percentage of them working in industries that are more impacted by the crisis.

According to Skillsoft, “Wherever possible, RISE provides these young people with entry-level tech or digital roles and access to Skillsoft learning content.”

To date, Talent RISE has engaged over  3,000 young people through workshops and mentoring and successfully placed 250 and counting into employment across Australia, New Zealand, and EMEA.


Rosie Cairnes, vice president, Skillsoft APAC said, “Many young people have suffered job loss due to COVID-19, so we’re delighted to be able to support the youth community with the opportunity to upskill. Digital transformation and emerging technologies are generating jobs that require candidates to have deeper technical skills training, and this is a great opportunity for young people to get up to speed with how to implement, interpret, and manage technology to ensure they’re employable.”

Data from LinkedIn revealed that the need for software and IT support is up by 17.3%, while administration and business-based roles are also showing consistent demand.

Therefore, RISE is young people with free access to over 1,000 courses related to business and professional development and computing that will enable them to upskill in these in-demand sectors in Australia.

Talent RISE Founder Richard Earl said, “The immediate impact of the coronavirus downturn on workers has been large and unequal, with young people being hit the hardest. To find work, many young people are going to need to change industries and reskill in areas of higher demand such as the tech and digital sector which is where Talent operates. This generous gift of learning content licenses from Skillsoft couldn’t come at a better time for our young people and will enable them to upskill in order to re-enter the job market in this challenging time.”