DTA, APSC announce Digital Career Pathways program

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 19 August, 2019

DTA, APSC announce Digital Career Pathways program

Part of the Building Digital Capability, the Pathways project aims to boost IT skills and steer careers throughout the public service.

The Digital Transformation Agency is working with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) to develop new Digital Career Pathways. The agency’s Building Digital Capability team and the Commission aim to use the initiative to allow APS employees to explore their career potential.

The APSC and DTA plan to hold workshops and conduct user research to determine the typical roles and responsibilities of APS employees across numerous areas including data science, cybersecurity, enterprise architecture and performance analysis, as well as content and design operations.

The program will be based on the global Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) standard, the world’s most widely adopted skills and competency framework.

First published in 2000, the SFIA is now in its seventh iteration. The framework describes the skills and competencies required for ICT, digital transformation and software engineering roles across seven levels of responsibility.

The APSC has licensed the SFIA framework from the SFIA Foundation under a whole-of-government non-commercial licence covering all commonwealth entities covered by the Public Service Act.

In a blog post, DTA Content Designer Steve Hibbins and Digital Skills Subject Matter Expert Grant Nicholson said the the Digital Career Pathways will be designed to help APS employees discover how to use their existing skills in other roles, and what new skills they might need to excel in those roles.

“The approach provides clarity and understanding of the pathways between roles and disciplines. This makes it easy to identify skills gaps,” they said.

“As well as movement between roles within the digital profession, the career pathways model helps people interested in transitioning from non-digital roles to digital roles. It also shows the specific skills they need to develop. For example, people who know how to draft or read legislation will usually have a good appreciation for how to write and read rules, which is a core foundation for developing software code.”

The Digital Career Pathways will also be able to help connect APS staff with the best training or opportunities they need to meet their career goals.

“The digital career pathways will help people to understand the different roles in the various disciplines,” Hibbins and Nicholson said.

“For example, what is the difference between a technology architect and a solution architect? The Digital Career Pathways show that solution architects do a few things that technology architects don’t, for example, designing software and helping businesses change their processes.”

The process can also help with workforce planning by identifying potential skills deficiencies at an agency and suggesting areas for future skill development.

“We believe working with both agencies on the career pathways is a truly collaborative partnership model. It helps to keep both organisations coordinated, informed and working for the benefit of the whole APS,” Hibbins and Nicholson said.

“The Building Digital Capability program, of which the digital career pathways is just one component, seeks to attract, build and retain the skills of Australian public servants to assist with digital transformation. The added benefit of staff who are realising their potential is that government services will continue to become simpler, clearer and faster.”

Image credit: ©Serg Nvns/Dollar Photo Club

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