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ACS surprised at IT visa processing changes

Changes illustrate the importance of tech skills development

2 November 2022

 

ACS Chief Executive Officer Chris Vein has expressed surprise at the removal of IT jobs roles from the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation list announced today.

“Given Australia's ongoing chronic technology skills shortage, ACS is surprised IT visas are being de-prioritised,” said Mr Vein, “particularly given the important role tech plays in delivering the healthcare and education services the government is clearly looking at supporting with these changes.”

The 2022 ACS Digital Pulse Report (https://www.acs.org.au/insightsandpublications/reports-publications/digital-pulse2022.html), prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, forecasts Australia will need 1.2 million skilled IT workers by 2027, up from 870,268 in 2021.

Meeting that demand for nearly 330,000 new workers over the next five years with only 8,647 domestic students annually graduating from universities and vocational institutions forecast to provide 125,000 qualified people over the next five years, means skilled migration will remain critical to meeting the sector’s skills shortage, Mr Vein believes.

“The changes also highlight that skilled migration is not an easy solution for our long-standing IT skills shortfall. Australia has to also work on building our domestic workforce's capabilities, encouraging businesses to invest in advanced technology and encourage students to enter STEM careers,” Mr Vein continued.

Ahead of the 2022 federal election, ACS proposed a $1.2bn plan featuring nine measures in its election platform (https://www.acs.org.au/insightsandpublications/reports-publications/2022-federal-election-platform.html) to address the national IT skills shortage.

Measures in the platform included boosting the tech sector’s diversity, increasing spending on regional digital infrastructure, growing business training, and improving the tools available for IT educators. These proposals would help grow the nation’s digital workforce alongside skilled migration.

“ACS will continue to work with the Albanese government to develop policies to ensure Australia has the best training, education and skilled migration policies to lead the nation into the 2030s.”

-ENDS-

 

Further information

Troy Steer

Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy

M – 0417 173 740

E – [email protected]

About ACS

ACS is the voice of Australia’s technology sector, representing over 35,000 technology professionals across all industries and across the nation.

Our members work in industry, education, government, and the community delivering the digital services that drive the nation and provide the high-skilled jobs of today and tomorrow.

ACS works to grow the technology sector while making sure IT professionals act ethically, responsibly, and in keeping with the best interests of not only their employers, but the wider community.

Through our network of branches in every state and Territory, our innovation labs, education programs and our history of over fifty years, ACS works to help all Australians be part of the nation’s highest growth sector. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.