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Australia’s politicians need to think bigger about tech

ACS calls for greater visionary thinking about the industries of the future

24 March 2022 – For immediate release

 

ACS, the professional association for Australia’s technology sector, today called on Australia’s political and business leaders to be more visionary in their planning for future jobs.

The call comes after the Federal Opposition Leader, Mr Anthony Albanese, announced a national target of 1.2 million IT jobs by 2030.

Digital Pulse, ACS’ annual survey of the Australian technology sector, last year flagged this would be achieved by 2027 just on the industry’s current growth rates of 5.4%, which is four times greater than broader economy’s forecast.

ACS President, Dr Nick Tate, welcomed the ALP’s commitment, adding: “while we are delighted to see the Opposition embrace these targets, we feel they are not ambitious enough.

“The Digital Pulse report found we’re going to have demand for over 1.1m technology jobs by 2026 and on current growth rates the nation will need around 1.3m tech workers by 2030.”

“Given the technology sector is key to Australia’s continued prosperity, future living standards and competitiveness, and industry is needing skills in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing and data analytics, ACS believes we should be more ambitious in our targets.

“In our 2022 Election Platform, we outlined initiatives that would boost the supply of technology literate workers and ensure students have the skills required by tomorrow’s society.”

ACS’ nine-point election platform proposes nine measures to boost the nation’s tech sector over the term of the next government.

·       A $500m program to boost the technology profession’s diversity and inclusion

·       $100m to encourage Digital Technologies education in schools

·       A $10,000 employer tax credit for improving the workforce’s digital skills

·       Stronger cybersecurity rules for government agencies and contractors

·       A $100m crackdown on spam and scams

·       $500m for growing Australia’s regional digital economy

·       Establishment of a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

·       Creating a Cabinet-level Digital Economy portfolio

·       Establishing a commission to evaluate the needs of tomorrow’s workforce

Dr Tate concluded: “ACS is genuinely pleased to see the ALP’s commitments and feel they will go some way to addressing the technology demands of Australia’s businesses and society over the next few years.

“However, we would like all of our political leaders to consider how critical a digitally-skilled workforce will be to Australia over coming decades and look to the longer term and bigger picture issues facing our 21st-Century economy.

“Regardless of who wins the Federal election, we look forward to working closely with the next government in delivering the jobs essential for Australia’s future.”

-ENDS-

 

Further information

Troy Steer

Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy

M – 0417 173 740

E – [email protected]

About ACS

ACS is the professional association for Australia's technology sector. ACS members work across business, education, government, and the community delivering the digital services essential to the nation’s prosperity and security.

ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. ACS strives for technology professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on technology and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.