Future Ready Fest connects students to tech industry

A global software company has teamed with the department to give students virtual work experience.

Hundreds of students across NSW have received virtual work experience with global cloud software company Salesforce, thanks to a new initiative aimed at encouraging more people to pursue a career in the tech sector.

Salesforce teamed up with the NSW Department of Education to give Year 10 students a taste of the tech industry over three days after the pandemic prevented students from embarking on work experience.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the Future Ready Fest virtual work experience program provided students with exclusive access to key industry mentors to help with their career planning.

“This is a great example of industry and education working hand-in-hand to give students real-world exposure to the jobs of the future and help them make informed choices about their career,” Mr Lee said.

“The NSW Government is thrilled to have Salesforce Australia New Zealand chief executive Pip Marlow as an ambassador for Careers NSW, launched this year to connect people of all ages to careers, jobs and training.”

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the Year 10 students who had the opportunity to participate in this experience now had an insight into the jobs of the future.

“It’s so important that students are prepared for life beyond the classroom and connecting with industry virtually is a powerful way of showing students how they can harness the virtual world to connect, learn and work,” Ms Mitchell said.

Salesforce APAC senior director, philanthrophy, Davinder Mann said: “As the largest work experience program we’ve ever run, it’s fantastic to be able to bring so many students together and provide them with a lens into what a career in tech could look like.

“A key feature of the program was Salesforce’s Career Sparks, sessions designed to motivate and equip students with the knowledge, resources and pathways to help them prepare for the future and inspire them to pursue careers in technology.”

As well as getting a taste of the tech industry, students received help to prepare for interviews to bolster their confidence when seeking out casual jobs or apprenticeships.

CareerTrackers, a non-profit that specialises in supporting indigenous students and Schools Plus, a non-profit that aims to close the education gap, both supported the program through mentoring sessions with students.

Global technology consultancy Cognizant also supported the program with volunteers engaging with students on goal setting, career conversations and business values.

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