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ACS Week In Review: 28 June 2013

Friday, 28 Jun 2013

In what can only be described as a turbulent week for Australian politics there has been significant discussion around the future of Australia’s digital economy, with some specific focus on the role of overseas professionals working in Australia. The position of the ACS has been made clear in the past and we will continue to insist that suitably trained and qualified individuals are the best way to keep the digital economy strong while recognising that there are real barriers to access training and re-enter the workforce, especially for older workers and for women.

This week has also seen the resignation of The Hon Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Minister Conroy was also patron of the ACS and over the years we have worked closely with him, most recently being appointed to progress a draft protocol for cloud computing. On the basis of member feedback, industry and stakeholder consultation we have also identified 5 key issues that we believe an incoming Government must address to keep the digital economy strong, and we look forward to sharing those with you very shortly.

Finally, you may have seen that there has been some transition within the TSA SIG. At the ACS we look forward to continuing the good work of the TSA SIG and will continue to publish the TJA.

In 2007, the ACS was entrusted with the future of the TSA bringing it in as a Special interest Group (SIG) within the Telecommunications Board. The TSA, with around 170 members, is an energetic group within the 20,000+ membership of ACS. In December 2012 a new director, Dr Ian Oppermann of CSIRO was elected to the ACS Telecommunications Board. 

The change in leadership of the Telecommunications Board is a natural part of the governance process within the ACS and reflects the principles of elected leadership within a voluntary society operating for the benefit of its members. The ACS regrets but respects the decision of the previous TSA board to resign from their positions. The TSA however continues within the ACS. The change in leadership presents an opportunity for a renewed focus for the TSA and to allow the TSA to enter the next phase of its long history.

A growing number of information technology workers in Australia are now hunting for work in New Zealand, says recruitment company Absolute IT.

Director Grant Burley said the company had seen a 165 per cent jump in the number of Australian-based candidates for New Zealand jobs between March and May, when compared with the same period last year.

Right qualifications, plenty of experience – but you're no spring chicken. Is this why you're not getting a look-in in today's ICT jobs market?

Fifty-something SAP consultant Peter Eltherington believes so. He was made redundant last November from the consultancy where he'd worked since 2008, in the wake of widespread cuts to project work across the Queensland public service.

Despite two degrees and almost 20 years of experience in systems built by German tech giant SAP, he has been unable to find another job in the sector and believes his chances of doing so are slim.

The ACS is committed to addressing Ageism in the ICT sector and assisting our members who encounter it. Look out for our annual Employment Survey results shortly. 

The Government’s controversial bill cracking down on 457 visa abuse has passed the House of Representatives, at 73 votes to 72.

Independent MPs Andrew Wilkie and Bob Katter, together with Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt voted with the Government, while Rob Oakeshott and Peter Slipper voted with the Opposition.

The Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill was debated in Parliament yesterday, with amendments proposed by independent MP Bob Katter.

Busting perceptions of computer scientists as socially unskilled ‘nerds’ would help to attract more women to IT roles, according to a US study.

The research, published in Springer journal Sex Roles, found the stereotype of computer scientists as technology-oriented, intensely focused on computers, intelligent and socially unskilled was well entrenched among both men and women included in the study.

However, when this image was downplayed in a series of fake print media articles given to study participants, women expressed more interest in further education in computer science. Men in the study were unaffected by how computer science majors were represented in the articles.