Tech talent supply insufficient to meet Australia’s growth ambitions

ACS, the professional association for Australia’s technology sector, has launched its 2019 Australia’s Digital Pulse report. The report has highlighted a shortage of talent in the technology sector, with an additional 100,000 workers still needed by 2024.

The report also outlines a number of policy priorities that should be implemented in order to drive the growth of Australia’s digital economy and meet the demands of a successful workforce, namely: boosting skills, start-ups, and investment, with skills development being the highest priority.

Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, the report has revealed there are tech talent supply inhibitors to meeting Australia’s growth ambitions and provides an economic evidence base of the policy levers that may best remove these barriers.

“Meeting the voracious demands for more technology workers and increased investments from Australia’s businesses will be a huge challenge,” said ACS President Yohan Ramasundara. “Australia’s future prosperity in an increasingly digitised world will depend upon ongoing investment in emerging technologies and further development in the digital skills required to build, deploy and apply them.

“While university completions in technology degrees have risen slightly, there was a significant decline of 11,875 technology subject enrolments between 2016 and 2017 in the VET sector. For Australia to be a competitive player in the world economy, our policymakers, businesses, workers and communities need to work better together to address the challenges of technology-related skills, investment and collaboration,” Ramasundara added.

The report also explores how digital technologies can further power Australia’s economic growth, with the contribution of digital to GDP expected to grow 40 per cent between 2018 and 2023. That’s the equivalent of an extra $2500 for every person in Australia each year.

Deloitte Access Economics Partner John O’Mahony said that the economic benefits of digital technologies to productivity and GDP only provide one perspective on how these technologies have led to improved living standards across the Australian population.

“There are also a range of other types of gain, such as better access to and quality of healthcare and education services, as well as non-monetary benefits such as increased choice and lower travel times,” O’Mahony said.

ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2019 report investigates Australia’s digital economy and workforce. It provides a detailed examination of digital workforce trends, aimed at informing public debate about this important area of Australia’s economy.

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