Training down under looks up

Donovan, Tristan
September 2003
IT Training;Sep2003, p15
Trade Publication
Australia's relatively small population has hindered its IT skills efforts, but change is now on the horizon. Economic uncertainty has seen employers curtail their training budgets, a move that has forced Australia's training firms into a spate of mergers and closures that mirrors Great Britain skills crisis. As a result of this unforgiving market, the country is now dominated by international or foreign-owned IT training suppliers. Australia has a population of 19 million, spread out across a nation that is more than 24 times the size of Great Britain and Ireland put together. As a result, suppliers that are unable to provide pan-Australian training services face an uphill struggle against the likes of vendor-training divisions, which have enough capital to cater for the whole country. Tania Wickham, business development manager at Australian-owned LMS provider Web Raven, agrees: 'E-learning solutions must accommodate poor bandwidth areas, so rich media files are not commonly used.' Back in the classroom, the Government is finally starting to get its act together with the recent creation of the IT Skills Hub being a key milestone. So it would seem that after years of playing the role of an IT skills slowcoach, Australia is finally doing exactly what it needs to catch up.


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