Meet the DAP’s: Elizabeth Eldridge

Elizabeth Eldridge is chasing a second career and has returned to study IT

And given there’s a skills shortage in the IT industry, when she finishes her two-year Digital Apprentice Program (DAP) she’s likely to find the job she wants.

A recent study found that staff shortages in the IT industry have escalated in the past three months and senior executives in the industry are more concerned about skilled staff shortages than privacy and cloud computing.

For Ms Eldridge, 47, it was watching her children quickly adopt new technologies that made her keen to learn more about IT. So she signed up with Mount Helen technology firm CT4 to complete the two year DAP to gain a certificate in IT support.

“They have known more about it than I have and I need to learn,” she said.

“I’m doing this because I don’t have much knowledge in IT, which is ever expanding. There’s always things happening in the industry and I would love to get in to knowing more about it and see where I end up.”

After 20 years Elizabeth Eldridge has the chance to reskill and find new opportunities in the workforce.

IT executives have identified that workers like Ms Eldridge who are either reskilling or re-entering the workforce could be the answer to Australia’s IT skill shortage.

For the past 20 or so years Ms Eldridge has been working as a cleaner or in retail but during the course so far she’s learned how to pull apart a computer and put it back together, and mastered dozens of different apps that she had previously never used.

“You need a bit of IT background knowledge for everything now,” she said.

Ms Eldridge joined the program in 2019 and said it had given her future work opportunities with a level of exposure to IT which she wouldn’t otherwise have.

“Women of my age often don’t have much to do with IT. This program has given me confidence and I’m starting to now understand the background of IT and what technology can do.”

Ms Eldridge said her fellow trainees came from a variety of backgrounds and had a different range of experience and knowledge of IT.

“CT4’s DAP traineeship provides regional Victorians a great opportunity to reskill or upskill to enter a booming industry, and the program to date has been a great success,” said CT4 customer success manager Tegan DeClark.

“We’re proud of our most recent cohort who have just completed the initial phase of the program.

“We believe that diversity is the lens through which unique problems are solved and we value the different backgrounds and life experience which contributes to our organisation and the industry as a whole.”