In 2016 Siemens Australia partnered with Ai Group and Swinburne University to launch a project which has reinvented technology apprenticeships in Australia.

The Industry 4.0 Advanced Apprenticeship Program addresses the significant shortage in STEM graduates and is dedicated to providing apprentices with valuable, real-world experiences, supporting their development into industry professionals.

This program has seen Siemens win the Australian Apprenticeships - Employer Award at the 2018 Australian Training Awards.

Siemens’ Australia CEO and Chairman, Jeff Connolly said when the company started the program two years ago, they had no historic job descriptions that fits the vocational skills required for jobs of the future, but were determined to collaborate and equip them with the right digital and technology skills for the future.

“While the awards are great recognition of our combined efforts, we’re particularly proud of giving the first batch of apprentices pathways to work in Australia and globally,” Jeff said.

“The outcomes are evident as we are already seeing real skills for real careers with this unique and innovative program.”

Speaking about how the program fits into Siemens’ strategy for the region, Jeff added, “We see Industry 4.0 as a framework for societal transformation. Given the rapid pace of change owing to technological disruption, the preparation for the future of work, skills and education cannot just be left to education institutions alone. Industry needs to collaborate with academia and governments to support this progress.

“In addition to the apprenticeship program, our strategic initiatives to build Industry 4.0 capabilities across Australia include hi-tech Siemens software grants to select universities to give students access to the same tools as advanced industry experts worldwide.”

The initiatives stemmed from the work of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce (now hosted by AiGroup and known as the Industry 4.0 Forum). Further developments include the establishment of Industry 4.0 test laboratories with strategic universities across Australia to help SME’s gain experience in leading software, automation and other technology.”

Siemens Australia has been a member of the Australian VET Alumni since 2018.