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News & Analysis

Xceptional teams up with Generation Australia to develop neurodivergent tech talent for cloud computing

- September 22, 2021 2 MIN READ
Xceptional CEO and founder Mike Tozer.
Non-profit employment pathways provider Generation Australia has teamed up with Xceptional have teamed up to accelerate skills development and employment for neurodivergent people. 

The pilot program plans to develop a pipeline of talent for the tech sector.  

The first program is a 12-week, 5-days a week bootcamp-style training course for people to get a job as a Cloud Practitioner.

It’s free, online and offers hands on practical experience in Azure Cloud Computing for neurodivergent people and kicks off on October 5, with technical training provided by Academy Xi.

As part of the program, Xceptional will provide consultation and training on how to make the courses more accessible and inclusive, as well as offer additional support services to graduates to assist them in finding employment, including individualised coaching.

Course details and qualification requirements are here.

Xceptional Chief Growth Officer Aron Mercer said there’s a pipeline of talent that largely hasn’t been tapped by industries that need it most. 

“The UN estimates that 80% of autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed, and yet  we’re seeing critical talent shortages in industries where neurodivergent people thrive, such as  technology and finance,” says Mercer.  

“This is a significant step towards implementing a sustainable career pathway initiative. Our  partnership demonstrates the importance of organisations collaborating at all steps in the  education-to-employment pipeline to solve unemployment and underemployment.”  

 

Employers see benefits

Mercer says that employers are starting to see the benefits of having  a neurodiverse workforce, which the shift to remote teams due to lockdowns shifting perspectives.

“The way we work has changed. Organisations were forced to consider how people could work  best overnight,” he said.

“This change has led to some really positive outcomes, like opening up the opportunity for neurodivergent people who can struggle with open plan offices and daily commutes  to communicate through online channels.” 

Alyssa Owens from Generation Australia said people living with a disability are a key group her company seeks to support into meaningful work.

“With Xceptional’s specific knowledge in training and upskilling neurodivergent people  and their potential employers alike, we look forward to cementing brilliant pipelines of talent for  Australian employers,” she says.

“What we find time and time again is that making education or workplaces more accessible to all  individuals, whether based on ability, gender, previous employment or ethnicity, brings benefits for  all.” 

“We would invite any employer of cloud practitioners in Australia to get in touch to find out more  about what they can do to tap into this incredible pipeline of talent,” she concludes. 

Lessons learned from the pilot will be used to increase access to education programs and job  opportunities for neurodivergent people worldwide. With Generation operating in 16 countries  around the globe, the pilot may be trialled in other markets including U.S, Hong Kong, U.K,  Singapore and India. 

More on the first Cloud Practitioner program here.