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The Young ICT Explorers Accelerator Program (YICTE) is an initiative supported by Australian children’s charity The Smith Family and SAP Australia. The program is designed to provide schools and teachers in disadvantaged communities with the resources and knowledge needed to prepare young Australians for the technology careers of the future.
“When the ANZ Channel Community was formed three years ago, we asked members to select a charity to sponsor,” Moheb Moses, ANZ community director, CompTIA, and director, Channel Dynamics, said. “The community chose YICTE because its objectives were so closely aligned with ours. We’re proud to say we have continued to support the YICTE initiative during this time.”
Any school that The Smith Family works with can participate in the program. It offers access to specialised teacher training such as robotics and coding, as well as financial support to attend technology-focused education events. It also provides a range of IT hardware to support student projects. Teachers are also matched with industry mentors from various organisations to boost their learning and abilities.
Twenty-one schools participated in the program in 2017, with that number expected to double this year.
According to Lisa O’Brien, The Smith Family’s CEO, a digital skills gap remains in Australia despite an increasing awareness of the importance of STEM-related skills to the country’s future economic prosperity. Young people from low-income households are among those who need the greatest support. The Smith Family is focused on boosting digital literacy because these are essential skills young people need for their education, and to make a successful transition into work.