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Technology leader invests to train 100,000 Australian students in 21st century skills


SYDNEY, March 11, 2015 Cisco Systems Australia Pty Ltd today announced a five-year investment program expanding to train over 100,000 Australian tertiary and school students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills.


AUSTEM 2020 is a new program, which builds on Cisco Australia’s long-term commitment to tackle the STEM skills shortage and help create an innovation economy, boost productivity and boost jobs growth.


Cisco Australia and New Zealand Vice President, Ken Boal made the announcement: “The Australian economy is in transition, and there has never been a more important time to invest in the programs that will equip students with the skills they need to secure the jobs of the future.”


Cisco’s AUSTEM 2020 consists of:


  • A $21 million projected investment in the Cisco Networking Academy® program over five years to train some 100,000 students via public-partnerships with not-for-profit higher education providers and schools in industry relevant, job-ready technology skills.


  • 5,000 students connected to STEM career and job opportunities by 2020 through the Find Yourself in the Future program to be offered to Cisco® Networking Academy students, who are coming up to the final stages of studies and making plans for entry into the job market.


  • 500 students to participate in the Cisco Live Melbourne 2015 Student Summit engaging existing and new STEM students in how technology will shape the future.


  • AUS2020 mentoring commitment that will see 20 per cent of Cisco Australia staff providing 20 hours of mentoring to existing and prospective tertiary education and school STEM students, totalling some 5,000 mentoring hours per year.


In addition, Cisco will be delivering opportunities that specially target young women such as the Cisco Women Rock-IT program, where some 1,000 girls per year in Australia will participate in quarterly webinars to learn more about how IT skills can open up interesting and rewarding careers.  


Since 1998, Cisco Australia has invested more than $50 million in the Networking Academy program in Australia, which has trained more than 130,000 students on ICT skills. Cisco Australia collaborates with over 120 higher education institutions and works with 490 instructors for its Networking Academy.

Recently appointed to the Commonwealth Science Council and as President of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, Mr Boal said that STEM skills were identified by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, as the cornerstone of our modern economy. 


“Science and innovation are recognised internationally as key for boosting productivity, creating more and better jobs, enhancing competitiveness and growing our economy,” Mr Boal said.  


Cisco’s commitment is to collaborate with government, business, education and the wider community to help build Australia’s STEM capabilities.

Tim Fawcett, Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs and Derek Pola from the Department of Education NSW are available for comment.

Media Contacts:         

Cori Drogemuller                      Paul McKeon

+61 7 3238 8227                         +61 414 596 266      


Tags/Keywords: Cisco, STEM, Australia, Boal


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