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It's the digital economy, stoopid!

Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013

12 June, 2013. Brisbane: The Australian Computer Society (ACS) today welcomed the announcement by the government of the updated Digital Economy Strategy and applauded the rollout of the successful ‘Group X’ digital careers program.

At the launch of the GroupX national program and Digital Economy Strategy update the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, cited ACS research into declining numbers of students choosing to study ICT as the impetus for the program to go national from its successful Queensland pilot.

The Group X program – a collaborative effort between the ACS, NICTA, the New South Wales Government, the AIIA, and ten universities and industry participants - will deliver a national package of education and careers projects to excite and encourage young people to study ICT.

ACS CEO, Mr Alan Patterson welcomed the announcement: "As the professional body for Australia’s ICT workforce, the ACS was there at the beginning of GroupX and we now applaud the Federal Government for its support in taking it to the next level. Inspiring school children to pursue a career in ICT goes to the heart of ensuring we have the skills in the future to take full advantage of the digital age."

"The challenges in nurturing and sustaining our digital economy are as complex as the challenges the digital age itself creates. The ACS has been urging all stakeholders to develop holistic policy responses to these challenges as technology now touches almost every aspect of our lives." Mr Patterson said.

"As part of Australia’s broader digital strategy, ensuring Australia has the right skills for the future will be supported by improved confidence and digital literacy among users of new technologies and the ACS is proud to be a key part of the government delivery of the national cloud computing strategy – developing the Australian cloud protocol," Mr Patterson said.

"The ACS also applauds the government on its commitment to open data, recognising that open data is a cornerstone to innovation and value creation, and the focus on Employee Share schemes and funding options for start-ups, and improving digital literacy for Small to Medium Enterprises and Not for Profits," Mr Patterson said.

"ACS research was the first to accurately measure the value of Australia’s digital economy contribution to GDP. The Digital economy now contributes as much as the mining sector and more than many other sectors combined. It requires a collaborative and holistic focus to be nurtured and sustained." Mr Patterson said.

Further information
Adam Redman, Australian Computer Society, 0416 800 441

About the Australian Computer Society
The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The Society exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT to be recognised as a driver of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.