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SA tech workforce surges

IT worker numbers jump 15% in 2021 as state economy pivots

8 August 2022

South Australia was among the nation’s tech leaders in 2022 with the state’s workforce leaping 15% last year, according to the ACS Digital Pulse report.

Prepared each year by Deloitte Access Economics for ACS, the annual national IT workforce report found the state’s technology sector employs 42,376 workers, up 5,601 from the previous year.

The state’s technology workforce is forecast to grow to over 56,000 skilled IT workers over the next five years, the report predicts.

ACS South Australia Honorary Secretary, Jo Stewart-Rattray, said: “the growth of South Australia’s technology workforce reflects the investment being made by governments and the private sector in areas such as cybersecurity, defence, and the space industry.

“The projected growth rates highlight the importance of the sector to the state’s economy and the opportunities for South Australians in the sector along with the need to train enough technology professionals to meet the industry’s needs over coming years.

“Ahead of the South Australian state election earlier this year, ACS released an election platform outlining five measures to boost the local tech workforce including improved resources for IT teachers and more support for regional technology programs.

“It’s essential the benefits of the digital economy’s growth are shared by everyone in the state, and we look forward to working with local industry, the state and federal governments in delivering that for all South Australians,” Ms Stewart-Rattray concluded.

The five measures in ACS’ South Australian election platform released last March were:

1.       A program to attract more tech professionals to the state

2.       Improve technology education resources for schools and teachers

3.       Build collaboration across the cybersecurity sector

4.       Raise the importance of IT within government

5.       Boost regional technology support and connectivity

Nationally, the report found Australia’s tech workforce grew by 8% over the previous year, with over 870,000 Australians now working in IT roles. By comparison, the workforce as a whole only grew 3.4%.

In the next five years the tech sector will employ over 1.2 million Australians, with the workforce having an average annual growth rate of 5.5%, the report found.

Digital Pulse also flagged the need for Australian businesses and government to do more to train workers and encourage greater diversity in the technology workforce. Women represent only 31% of the technology workers, compared to 48% across the Australian workforce.

In the report, ACS recommends seven measures to address the nation’s technology skills needs:

1.            develop and promote workplace policies to encourage diverse technology talent

2.             provide schoolteachers with more resources to improve student digital literacy and increase awareness of technology career pathways

3.            greater coordination between agencies to develop skills in the technology workforce

4.            further encourage businesses to deepen digital skills in other occupations

5.            work to retain existing technology talent in Australia

6.            encourage employers to consider more diverse pathways into the technology sector

7.            boost government and industry investment in the technology sector.

John O’Mahony, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics and co-author of the Digital Pulse series added: “Australia’s tech workforce growth has been astonishing – we will soon have one million tech workers in this country.

“Individuals can earn, on average, an extra $11,000 every year in salary in tech occupations compared with other professional occupations. If we can boost diversity in the technology workforce it could be worth over $20 billion to our economy over the next two decades.”

Digital Pulse also highlighted how businesses can better retain current workers and attract new staff by supporting diverse workforces and flexible working conditions.

The full 2022 Digital Pulse report can be downloaded from the ACS website at www.acs.org.au.

-ENDS-

 

Further information

Troy Steer

Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy

M – 0417 173 740

E – [email protected] Add content here