How Balance Internet developed the Skill Finder digital marketplace

Empowering Australians with free micro-skills through the pandemic

The Challenge

In 2020, a significant part of the Australian workforce was affected by COVID-19 pandemic and needed to rapidly evolve and gain new skills and competencies to support career opportunities and job prospects. A technology industry collaboration was developed in response to a call for action from The Hon. Minister Karen Andrews, former Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

Independence Australia wanted to be able to fulfil orders for NDIS patients and their associated medical organisations, the previous website did not allow these users to place orders directly online, or to apply government allocated funding options.

The Solution

A hackathon was hosted by Balance Internet, which involved a diverse pool of leading developers, programmers, subject matter experts, designers and solution architects. The idea was born that a Skill Finder could best unlock and utilise its high-profile technology sector connections and relationships, as a digital marketplace. Balance Internet then set out to build the Skill Finder proof of concept, free-of-charge in 2020.

The Result

Skill Finder moved from a Proof of Concept into official operations in March 2021. Today, the Skill Finder platform continues to expand, with increased uptake from job seekers across the country, continued sponsorship from the Australian government, and an ever-expanding network of technology partners.

After only a little over 12 months in the market, Skill Finder has had 340,000+ unique visits, plus 80,000+ enrolments and counting. All of the courses on theplatform are free to enrol; there is currently a 24% conversion rate, that’s more than four times the average global benchmark for eCommerce websites. Skill Finder’s significant uptake and strong conversion rate are essential to the platform’s mission. This strong performance is a metric the entire team is incredibly proud of and helps solidify the platform’s value for the Australian workforce.

The Skill Finder marketplace platform is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Digital Skills Platform Program. In April of 2021, Skill Finder received a $2.5 million grant from the Australian Government, to continue the providing Australian citizens access to free micro-skills.

30+
course providers

3000+
course providers

14+
categories,
plus 20 career pathways

340,000+
unique visits

80,000+
enrolments

24%
conversion rate

Avg. 1,000+
clicks through to enrolment per week, via CommBank app

475+
tech tips

Top Geo’s
Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide

Continued sponsorship
from the Australian Government

Technology Partners

Skill Finder is powered by some of the most influential companies across the globe. Our partners know the value of digital skills for a future where anything is possible. Skill Finder is backed by their knowledge and passion, allowing Australians to connect with experts and build on their knowledge to lead the future.

Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners
Technology Partners

Key Platform Features

Customer-Centric Experiences

  • Strategic alignment with modern skill frameworks and digital skills of the future
  • Responsive theme provides users with interactive and contextual search experiences
  • Categorisation and definition of pathways facilitates the upskilling direction
  • Chatbot ‘Jesse’ helps users to explore courses and pathways
  • Real-time insights and predictive intelligence for operational efficiency
  • Headless architecture easily handles traffic spikes and supports assisted interface
  • Real-time insights measure how the platform is being used

Superior Product & Content Management

  • Smart content workflows for creating/updating courses and providers with ease
  • Content-led formats for creating immersive experiences for users
  • Detailed filters help users search through thousands of courses from 30+ providers

Technology Framework

  • Adobe Commerce, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Experience Platform
  • Magento PWA Studio and Single Page Application
  • Autoscaling high-performance redundant infrastructure on AWS
  • Secure, auditable and compliant technology ecosystem

Services Provided by Balance Internet
IA

Digital Transformation
Strategy

IA

User Experience
& Interface Design

IA

Human Centered
Design

IA

End-to-End
Development

IA

Integration

IA

Project
Governance

IA

Website
& Application Support

IA

Ongoing feature
enhancement

James Horne

“We specialisein innovating on the Adobe Commerce platform and coming up with some strong use cases beyond retail and eCommerce. Our team felt strongly that the skills marketplace was an important initiative for Australia and agreed to donate our time pro bono out of lockdown in Melbourne to build a proof of concept in just 12 weeks.”

James Horne,
CEO, Balance Internet

Krispy Kreme

“COVID-19 has, paradoxically, brought our industry closer together with a shared sense of commitment to building a digitally skilled workforce. The Skill Finder program is a fantastic example of our team at Adobe working closely with a solution partner, Balance Internet, to deliver an innovative outcome. With Skill Finder, we solve a real problem, helping Australians connect withlearning opportunities for free. Our vision is that each and every Australian is empowered to redefine their tomorrow with new knowledge and skills, and we believe that Skill Finder is an important step towards this.”

Suzanne Steele,
Vice President, Adobe Australia & New Zealand

Trusted by Leading Organisations
With successful implementations for federal government in-market, Balance Internet is a registered seller of digital services across several government panels and the digital marketplace service. Our team of experts recognise the need for solutions that improve collaboration within departments and agencies to benefit citizens. We demonstrate the viability of digital solutions for both departments and citizens through rapid prototypes that serve as proofs-of-concept.

Interested to learn about how we can work together to bring your commerce vision to life? Let’s Talk!

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