Australia’s IT sector pours $42 billion into the economy every year. But industry groups say there’s nowhere near enough skilled workers to make that happen. They’re describing it as a skill crisis and say without more workers, Australia will lose business to innovators overseas.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Australia’s IT (information technology) sector has warned that the industry has reached a crisis point because of a desperate lack of skilled workers.
The IT sector contributes about $42 billion to the economy every year with potential for that to keep growing, but the industry says there’s nowhere near enough skilled workers to make that happen.
They’re warning that without more IT workers, Australia will lose valuable business opportunities to innovators overseas.
Stephanie Smail reports.
STEPHANIE SMAIL: IT is everywhere, powering everything from vending machines to complex financial trading markets. To keep it all running, the industry needs highly skilled workers.
But the companies that run the sector say there’s thousands of jobs sitting empty.
CHRIS WALTON: It’s this crazy situation where you’ve got people coming out and not getting the opportunity that they need because everyone’s got a project they need to get done and they want an experienced person to do it. So the labour market development system has broken down.
STEPHANIE SMAIL: Chris Walton is from the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia.
He says universities aren’t teaching the right skills and the private sector isn’t investing enough time or energy to boost the skilled workforce.
CHRIS WALTON: What is Australia’s future if it isn’t as a highly productive innovative country? How do we compete with China and other countries unless we compete on being smart and innovative?
Without an ICT (information and communications technology) industry with highly skilled professionals Australia is going to fall behind.
STEPHANIE SMAIL: It’s not just Australia that’s struggling.
The European Commission is predicting there will be a shortfall of nearly 1 million IT workers in Europe in the next two years.
To fight the problem, big companies have joined with governments to find the skilled labour they need.
Chris Walton says the Federal Government should follow its lead.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
via Australia facing IT skills crisis – Business – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).
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