Australia needs 1.2 million Tech workers by 2030. Is it possible?

Australia needs 1.2 million Tech workers by 2030. Is it possible?

Employers across all sectors join forces with a single vision to create Aussie jobs.

A new report from the Tech Council of Australia (TCA), Digital Skills Organisation and the Digital Employment Forum was launched today in Parliament House by Hon Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science and Anthony Eisen, Board Director TCA and Co-Founder Afterpay.

The report prepared by the Tech Council and Accenture titled, 'Delivering 1.2 million jobs - A roadmap to create a thriving Australian tech workforce' explains what it will take to meet the Australian Government’s goal of having 1.2 million tech workers in Australia by 2030.

Kate Pounder, CEO, TCA said, “The Australian Government and Australian tech employers have a shared commitment to create 1.2 million tech jobs in Australia by 2030, and to help Australians around the country access those jobs.”

“These jobs are critical to Australia’s future. They are amongst the fastest-growing, best-paid, most secure, and most flexible jobs in Australia. They have half the gender pay gap of other high-paying industries.”

“These jobs are critical to every major industry in the Australian economy – as demonstrated by the broad range of employers and educators participating in the Digital Employment Forum, from sectors as diverse as retail, banking, mining, government, professional services, software and telecommunications, all with a shared vision to create pathways into jobs.”

“Getting more Australians into tech jobs is also one of the most impactful levers available to meet the goals of the upcoming Jobs Summit. This includes lifting productivity and wages without creating inflationary pressures, increasing job security, addressing the gender pay gap and improving employment outcomes for disadvantaged Australians.

However, while helping more Australians access tech jobs is critical to Australia’s economic future, the report finds that national action is needed to make sure more Australians can get into these jobs.

The report revealed that there are significant shortages, particularly for technical and experienced tech roles. Vacancy rates in tech 60% higher than the national average and are forecast to grow at triple the rate.

The most severe shortages are in technical occupations like software programmers and computer network professionals but there are also big gaps in commercial and creative roles like product managers.

The report has identified 5 key barriers that prevent Australians from accessing the tech jobs opportunity.

1.     Australians lack awareness about what tech jobs exist, or how to get into them.

2.     Current training products and pathways into tech jobs are not always fit for purpose.

3.     There are strong demographic skews in tech jobs, with women, older Australians and regional Australians being under-represented.

4.     There is a small talent pool of people with the skills and experience needed to work in experienced technical roles, which have boomed.

5.     Australia lacks coordinated effort, analysis and planning for the tech workforce.

“We believe Government and industry need to work together to break down these barriers.”

“We believe Australia has a once in a generation opportunity to be a global technology powerhouse, leading in critical fields like Quantum and Fintech as well as increasing our lead in B2B software as a service.”

“The great news is the report has outlined a range of activities the sector can do, things Government can do and the role industry and Government can play together to break down the barriers and deliver on this incredible jobs opportunity.” Ms Pounder said.

In addition, the report has outlined a number of focus areas to ensure we meet the goal of 1.2 million jobs and identifies measures that will benefit from industry co-ordination to the benefit of the sector as a whole:

  • Design and implement a nation-wide awareness campaign on the benefits of tech jobs.
  • Establish a virtual work experience program for secondary students to ensure all Australians, regardless of where they live, can be exposed to the benefit of tech jobs.
  • Make a public commitment to improving diversity within the tech workforce.

Things we need to do together with government

The report identifies the following priority solutions which will require working in partnership with Government:

  • Deliver a new modern Australian Digital Apprenticeship, to better meet the future needs of tech jobs.
  • Define skills standards and pathways into tech jobs.
  • Better identify and recognise innovative training solutions.
  • Improve support for women to transition into the tech sector.
  • Conduct ongoing data analysis and tech workforce planning in conjunction with Jobs and Skills Australia.

Things government needs to do

The Australian Government has the most direct control over skilled migration, to ensure it better targets the areas of highest need and greatest demand. The priority solutions in this category are:

  • Streamline skilled migration for high salary, experienced technical roles.
  • Provide tech workers with pathways to permanent residency, and address barriers to work for international students studying tech-related courses in Australia.

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