In February 2018, Cogito Group welcomed Aidan Pond, from Nowra NSW, as a Junior IT Officer as part of our Regional Internship Program. The core value in Cogito Group’s Regional Internship Program is it allows novices to gain real industry insights, whilst addressing the barrier of limited opportunities in remote areas. Despite the promising development of technology and infrastructure in Regional Australia, growth in high-skilled jobs – those requiring a Bachelor’s degree or higher – have largely been confined to Australia’s biggest cities (CSIRO, 2017). The divide between urban and rural Australia represents an employment challenge for highly skilled individuals based in rural Australia.

Overcoming the challenge requires sustained collaborative efforts from big players across multiple industries. As skilled jobs cannot be moved to regional locations easily, due to cost and productivity limitations, highly skilled workers in regional locations are missing opportunities to gain experience and learn from other skilled workers and add value to larger organisations.

Cogito Group takes pride in providing opportunities to individuals based in regional Australia because the benefits gained are mutual, as Managing Director of Cogito Group, Richard Brown explains: “talent and passion need to be recognised, regardless of location. This starts with entrepreneurs thinking outside the constraints of big cities to understand the benefits that regional communities can offer.”

Cogito Group’s Regional Internship Program is a shift in the right direct to bridge a nationwide gap. The Internship was an ideal fit for Pond, who is studied Computer Science (Digital Systems Security) at University of Wollongong. As Aidan describes: “The internship was a really great way to dive straight into the industry. I grew up in a regional area, and hands on industry experience was pretty hard to find. At Cogito, I was almost immediately applying the skills I learned at university to real world problems.“

Support and guidance is offered throughout the program, as we understand that for many applicants – especially those currently studying or recent graduates – it may be the first time they have been exposed to the industry. The skills developed, knowledge gathered, and relationships built throughout the program become the foundations to a career of growth.

Cogito Group’s Regional Internship Program takes on a mutually advantageous approach, through addressing a wider problem in regional Australia whilst allowing individuals to develop and showcase their capabilities.