Members of the Australian Computer Society have overwhelmingly rejected the proposed cap on deductible work related self-education expenses in a recent national survey. The survey received input from 2400 professionals in just less than 4 days, making this a nationally significant sample of the membership of the ACS. The rapid response indicates the level of interest this issue has across the ICT profession.
Almost 90 per cent of respondents believe the cap on expenses at $2000 is inadequate and will disadvantage them in their careers, disadvantage their employers, disadvantage their businesses, and harm Australia’s digital economy while making business use of 457 visas more attractive. Many respondents pointed out that $2000 was barely enough to cover two days of training. In a profession as rapidly changing as ICT, professional development is critical to remaining ahead of key business technologies.
75 per cent of respondents said that their professional development and self-education costs exceeded $2000 a year, with more than half of this group noting self-education expenses each year were greater than $3000. Contractors also reported that self-education requires unpaid time off work so the proposed cap is in effect a double punishment for a critical section of the Australian digital economy workforce.
The ACS will use the results of the survey to further promote the value of continuing professional development to the digital economy and encourage the government to support those in the workforce who are looking to increase their skill level and develop their careers.