WA Govt launches new program to boost data talent pipeline

Cyber training WA Government

The WA Government has unveiled a new graduate program to boost the ranks of its cross-agency data science capability, placing, it says, data experts at “the forefront of… the state’s most innovative projects and critical initiatives”.

The initiative, suitably dubbed the ‘Data Science Graduate Program’, promises to “help to grow the sector’s digital capabilities”, offering tertiary data graduates an opportunity to shape “Government policy, services and programs to improve the lives of Western Australians,” the Government said in a statement.

Commencing next February, the 12-month program seeks tech grads with specific skills and qualifications in data programming languages, geospatial data analytics, statistical modelling, and data visualisation, with successful applicants to be placed within a WA Government agency across three separate rotations.

The program has been jointly developed by the state’s Department of Communities, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH), Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC), and the WA Police Force, who will each play host to the data specialists.

Each agency will have a specific priority for its graduates, with the DPC, for instance, utilising its specialists to gauge “the holistic impact of programs and interventions” across the whole of government, while the DPLH recruits will muster their efforts to develop a digital twin.

Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson said its latest data graduate recruitment drive aligns with a key priority under the state’s 2021-2025 Digital Strategy.

“I am excited to announce the launch of this graduate program as there is so much potential here for graduates from a data science background to help to shape WA’s digital future.

“The 12-month Interagency Data Science Graduate Program will offer insight into a wide range of exciting opportunities available across the public sector, and provide graduates with the practical skills and professional experience to kickstart their career.

“I encourage all graduates with backgrounds in data science and analytics who are interested in a rewarding career to apply for these positions.”

Dawson said that while data science skills already provide “tremendous benefit to WA”, he encourages more individuals to enter the industry, anticipating 3,000 new data jobs to be generated locally within the next decade.