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How Salesforce Is Increasing Access to Tech Jobs

There’s a need for tech skills in Australia, and yet many people face barriers to entry. Eloise Lloyd, Partner Talent Programs APAC, discusses how we launched a Salesforce Developer program, hosted by not-for-profit, Generation Australia.

Here at Salesforce, our company values don’t simply translate to a poster tacked to a whiteboard or a slide deck brought out during company meetings. Our core company values of trust, innovation, customer success, and equality are deeply ingrained in the work we do each day. Through our commitment to equality and innovation, I’ve been privileged to be involved in launching a Salesforce Developer program with not-for-profit (NFP), Generation Australia

The team at Generation Australia designs programs for adults who may not have access to formal education or opportunities to reskill — be it neurodiverse learners, new migrants or parents returning to the workforce after a career break. More importantly, it provides qualification and job readiness skills, without placing a financial burden on participants.

What is the program?

This 14-week program prepares students to become qualified Salesforce developers. But we knew we didn’t want the graduate’s learnings to be purely technical. We wanted to layer the formal qualification with soft skills that would help program participants thrive in the workforce. We also wanted to show the students how they could apply transferable skills from their previous careers to a new field. 

My team spoke with our partners at Talent Alliance to identify the technical and soft skills that would be beneficial for course participants to learn about. Thanks to their tangible insights, we worked together with Generation Australia to design a comprehensive program that combined work-readiness skills along with a qualification. 

“With the rapid digitisation that’s occurred in Australia in the last 12 months, more needs to be done to upskill Australians to get into emerging roles in technology; at pace and at scale,” says Malcolm Kinns, Chief Executive Officer, Generation Australia. 

“Bespoke CRM solutions are a key part of what will help newly-digitising businesses keep up in 2022 and beyond. We’re proud to make this Salesforce Developer program our third technology program that’s providing more opportunities for tech careers.”

Addressing digital skills shortages in Australia

Last year, Salesforce surveyed people across 19 countries to gauge their readiness to acquire digital skills. One thing was clear: Australia is facing a significant digital skills gap. Fifty-five percent of Australians felt only somewhat digital-ready, while a whopping 85% of respondents don’t feel adequately equipped to upskill in this realm. 

And as automation changes or replaces existing jobs, we need to act — and fast. “For businesses to thrive today and over the next five years, we need to nurture our workforce to be digitally fluent,” says Alexandra McDonald, Senior Director of Sustainability, Skills and Reconciliation here at Salesforce.  

“And yet, we’re facing a widening digital skills gap in Australia. Our partnership with Generation Australia is one way we’re unlocking the talents of diverse groups and matching education opportunities with the digital skills demand.” 

Graduates of this program can pursue careers in development, but it also sets them on the path for other specialties (some that would require further training or on-the-job learning). Opportunities could span fields like DevOps, product management or even consulting.

Findings from 23,000 people across 19 countries. Check out the 2022 Global Skills Index.

Creating pathways for placement

We’re also invested in helping program participants find meaningful work by connecting employers and Generation Australia. 

“This Salesforce developer program is a fast-tracked pathway into an in-demand, career-launching job. The program provides employers with motivated and skilled entry-level Salesforce Development talent, to fill the skills gap in this growing sector,” explains Kinns.

Jason Potts is a Talent Acquisition Manager at an Australian consultancy that specialises in Salesforce. He recently helped recruit a graduate to join his company as an Associate Salesforce Developer. 

“As a Salesforce Summit partner we’re conscious of our responsibility to provide entry-level opportunities in the market. I appreciate how Generation Australia are opening the door for people who wouldn’t necessarily come up in a LinkedIn search,” says Potts. 

The recruitment process was straightforward, says Potts. Generation Australia suggested some candidates based on the skills they were looking for, and from there they went through the company’s usual recruitment process. “All the candidates we interviewed were great and it was actually a difficult hiring decision in the end.”  

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide someone with an opportunity to kickstart their Salesforce career!”

Learning from mentors

We’re also connecting graduates with mentors who can help guide them in taking the next step in their careers. A student who met with a mentor shared how beneficial she found the process: “My mentor helped me to further navigate the ecosystem and advised me on how to stay connected and get a job. It’s been a fantastic help!” 

But the benefit goes both ways. Just ask Calvin Noronha, a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect. A big fan of mentoring, he was excited for an opportunity to give back. “I believe it’s never too late to start or change anything. What resonated with me about the Generation Australia program is how it’s open to people of all ages and gives them the opportunity to transform their careers.” 

“I had a wonderful discussion with my mentee, Cherie. She asked a lot of well-researched and specific questions about pursuing a career in the Salesforce ecosystem,” says Noronha. “One of the key things I stressed is that a lot of her work experience could still be carried forward into a new role, so having a business and technical lens will be very important.” 

“Though I was the ‘mentor’ here, Cherie taught me new things too and helped me to put some things into perspective,” says Noronha. The pair ended their session with some action items they could both work on and made plans to meet up again. 

“Programs like this one are so important. They help program participants find fulfilling careers, while also connecting employers to skilled workers.”

Thinking about becoming a mentor but unsure how to start? Look no further.

Preparing our workforce for the tech jobs of future

An initiative like this one is our opportunity to make the tech sector look more like our society. Having a range of perspectives in the field is critical for shaping the very products we’re designing. 

So far in 2022, we’ve had two program cohorts, the first graduating in March of this year and the second in June, with more programs to come in the future.  

“Every Australian deserves to feel confident that they have a place in our digital economy and that they have access to the skills to thrive in it,” says McDonald. “We’re excited to invest in our digital future and help Australians of all backgrounds become job-ready.”

Learn more about our partnership with Generation Australia.
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Salesforce Staff

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