ACS report highlights skills shortage in tech sector

The professional association for Australia’s technology sector, ACS, has launched a report highlighting skills shortages in the technology sector, with an additional 100,000 workers reportedly needed by 2024.

The 2019 ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse report outlines a number of policy priorities for recommended implementation to assist the growth of Australia’s digital economy and meet the demands of a successful workforce.

Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, the report reveals there are inhibitors to the supply of talented technology professionals to meet 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.”

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.

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,” said O’Mahony.