Microsoft Australia provided nonprofit organisation WorkVentures with funding and technical assistance for the launch of a new online training tool that will provide migrants and refugees with the relevant training to facilitate access to education, employment and social inclusion.

As part of its aim to provide affordable access to technology and training for disadvantaged communities, WorkVentures launched the i.settle.with.IT! training tool on 14 July at a community event that brought together members of migrant communities and agencies that work with them. Senator Kate Lundy, Federal Minister for Multicultural Affairs, officiated the i.settle.with.IT! launch.

Senator Kate Lundy (third from right), the Federal Minister for Multicultural Affairs, at the i.settle.with.IT! launch

The i.settle.with.IT! tool is the final part of a broader programme which included accredited community training, train-the-trainer courses, and an intensive information technology (IT) training programme for young refugees held in 2010. The programme, which is supported by Microsoft, helps to break down barriers to accessibility, opening up the opportunity to improve the social and economic status for migrants in Australia.

“Since its commencement in 2010, the programme has benefitted more than 8,000 members of the Australian migrant community through direct or indirect training courses. Results have been fantastic with approximately 98 percent of surveyed participants saying the programme allowed them to more easily move on to further education and opened up greater employment opportunities,” said Cansu Sezer, Manager of the i.settle.with.IT! programme.

Microsoft has invested more than AUD500,000 in the i.settle.with.it! programme over the past three years and is committed to further investments over the next 12 months.

Catering for entry-level English and computing skills, the i.settle.with.IT! website will allow WorkVentures to extend its reach within the Australian migrant population. The highly visual website was designed for people who do not have the flexibility to attend face-to-face training programmes due to family responsibilities or work commitments, giving them the opportunity to learn new skills in their own time and at their own pace.

“Microsoft and WorkVentures have been partnering for 26 years to help provide IT skills and training to underprivileged Australians. Through i.settle.with.it!, new settlers can build critical skills to help them participate in our community, gain access to services and build the confidence and capabilities to allow them to move onto further education, or employment,” said Pip Marlow, Managing Director of Microsoft Australia.

 

“The programme has shown how beneficial technology is to this community and how access to the right training can change their lives.”

- Arsenio Alegre, CEO of WorkVentures