Skills shortages threatens Australia's ICT growth

 

The Australian ICT industry is in danger of stagnating according to a report released today by the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

The report indicates that growth of the industry is being hampered by key skills shortages, falling telecommunications employment and a downtrend in investment in research and development (R&D).

Conducted for the ACS by industry think-tank, the Centre for Innovative Industries Economic Research, the ACS ICT Industry Report provides an overview of the problems facing the Australian ICT industry as of December 2007.

One of the key concerns identified by the report is the negative impact that skills shortages in key industry sectors are having on ICT industry performance. While the ICT industry, which is largely driven by SMEs, has seen a significant growth in total revenue to $84.3 billion, a decrease in skilled workers in key industry sectors remains a real threat to Australia’s economic prosperity.

The report highlights several worrying trends. While the volatility of employment is declining, job vacancies are at record highs and employment growth is gradually slowing. With the national economy dependent on the labour, products and services of ICT, indications of looming trouble need to be taken seriously.

Kumar Parakala, president of the ACS, used the report to call for greater awareness of the importance of the ICT industry and to warn of possible flow-on effects for Australia’s economy if certain trends were not reversed. “ICT underpins so many areas of our national growth and productivity. Australia’s ICT priorities must be top of mind if Australia is to maintain its globally competitive position,” he said.

According to Mr Parakala, a gradual slowing of ICT employment in several Australian states, coupled with a long-term sustained decline in R&D investment, are warning signs that need attention. He believes more cooperation between industry and government is needed to nurture Australia’s ICT industry.

“It’s important for industry and Government to collaborate on creating a sustainable ICT ecosystem that will help manage and grow the ICT workforce,” he said.

The report states that a lack of investment in R&D and information knowledge creation is also holding Australia’s ICT industry back. Mr Parakala believes fostering an atmosphere of technical innovation is crucial to attracting private investment.

“In order to make Australian IT companies competitive, we need a greater focus on innovation & ICT R&D – this is what’s required to build economic prosperity,” he said.

The report proposes several solutions, including actively encouraging more people to enter or re-enter the ICT workforce, particularly mature aged workers, and the integration of ICT subjects into tertiary study. The creation of flexible industry paradigms that can react to shifts in employment and implementation of skills forecasting programs that plan ahead for future trends are also suggested.

Skills shortages threatens Australia's ICT growth
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1455

Vote