Industry body proposed to manage ICT skills shortage

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Industry body proposed to manage ICT skills shortage

The Federal Government has released a new report into the state of the local ICT skills shortage.

The Federal Government has released a new report into the state of the local ICT skills shortage.

Building Australian ICT Skills, the findings report of the ICT Skills Foresighting Working Group, found targeted and decisive action was required to lift Australia’s ICT skill level to maintain competitiveness in ICT-led productivity growth.

The working group’s chair, Keith Besgrove, chief general manager Information Economy Division of DCITA also identified a number of inhibitors which threaten Australia’s future ICT skills development.

These included inadequate coverage and access to quality data on demand for skilled ICT occupations, apparent declines in industry investment in workforce retraining and up-skilling and outmoded and negative community perceptions of ICT occupations.

Evidence of a tightening ICT labour market, recruitment difficulties for some ICT skills, and a falling entry level job numbers for new ICT graduates and a marked decline in ICT course enrolments in the university and VET sectors also played a role.

To combat the lack of leadership on these issues the working group has proposed the formation of an industry leadership group to develop and facilitate improved ICT communication and participation in ICT occupations and careers.

This body would oversee the creation of a national standard for the classification of ICT jobs and a National ICT Skills Tracking and Monitoring System.

Additional government funding for research into staff retention, retraining and up-skilling issues and practices has also been proposed.

The full report can be found at: http://www.dcita.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/40270/06050016_ICTskills_revised.pdf

In related news, the Federal Government has announced that the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts CITA is currently working to recover debts owed to it by BushCom.

The ISP, now in liquidation, claimed funds under the Federal Government’s HiBIS service and subsequently failed to provide HiBIS services in accordance with its HiBIS Funding Agreement.

HiBIS, now known as Broadband Connect, is is a Federal Government initiative providing registered ISPs with incentive payments to supply higher bandwidth services in regional, rural and remote areas.

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