For the general management question you've asked in the title, the answer from @Joe Strazzere is good.
For the specific software management question underneath the general statement, you should consider whether you are being a little precious.
It's not uncommon for software technical leads with a new team to build to be given junior staff or less than full staffing. It's also common to see DevOps and QA as linked, because they are, even though constructing DevOps infrastructure requires a different skill set to manual QA.
In that case, your question is "Can I build some useful software infrastructure with a junior and reskilled team?"
In the past I have used both interns and manual testers in DevOps tooling work.
For interns, it is just the usual intern lottery, in that they can be a great help or not really a fit. Often you can get decent programmers, but they don't have the domain context, and are most useful in small structured projects where there is careful review before using anything in anger.
For manual testers, if they have been around for a while, they can have great product and domain knowledge, as well as organizational knowledge of pain points and bureaucratic blockers. I had some great team members who "got it" around devops and automation generally, but needed time to skill up on scripting and programming tasks. Manual testers who didn't get it unfortunately didn't work out for us and needed to be managed onto something else.
This was a while ago in the context of an organization where one of the continuous delivery challenges was very partial test automation across multiple development teams. You may have a different mandate and different challenges.
If you stay, consider that your manager (and larger org) probably has a problem of transitioning a number of different teams to a new way of working. One way or another that will be the terrain to deal with.
One problem, if it is just interns and manual QA conversions, is you have no ongoing team member who can be a technical backup for yourself. You could also use this as an argument for more staff. Even a new grad programmer would be useful.