Different countries have now accepted the existence of technology and its roles in helping different industries to flourish. However, in the Land Down Under, there are improvements needed to be done in order to take the lead in digital skills and employment or else the country will have to take the passenger seat instead and let other countries do the driving. The solution is said to be the country must produce 200,000 more jobs, according to a new report.
There has already been a forecast of 100,000 jobs over the next five years, but the 2018 edition of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) Digital Pulse report revealed Australia must be able to create 100,000 more technology jobs.
Looking back, the past three years have been able to produce 63,000 new tech roles; hence, letting the Australian ICT workforce to experience a 3.5 per cent jump, which is from 640,800 workers in 2016 to 663,100 workers in 2017, according to ARN.
“The demand for digital skills in our economy is exploding,” ACS president, Yohan Ramasundara, said via ARN. “The growth of artificial intelligence, automation and the internet of things is driving significant disruption across all industries, and highly trained ICT professionals are in more demand than ever before.
“If we want to be competitive in the world economy, we need to invigorate the education and training sectors to increase Australia’s ICT talent pool.”
The report, which was prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, said Australia’s adoption of digital technologies has the potential to contribute big numbers to Australia’s growth domestic product (GDP), which is said to be $66 billion in the next five years.
In the past five years, the country’s ICT services exports grew more than 60 per cent, making it reach $3.2 billion marks in 2016-17, the report revealed. This clearly shows that exporting ICT services now outstripped imports by $290 million. During the same period, business ICT research and development experienced an increase of 50 per cent, or a whopping $6.6 billion.
Although there has been growth in the past few years, Kathryn Matthews, a Deloitte Access Economics partner, said there are already early warning signs that reveal the country’s chance of becoming a passenger in the digital journey while other countries are leading the way as drivers. Matthews emphasised the repercussions once it becomes a reality, saying there could be cash flow impacts on productivity and living standards.
“Australia ranks 12th out of the 16 countries on business expenditure on research and development in ICT when R&D is examined as a share of a country’s overall gross domestic product,” Matthews said via ARN.
“Couple this with falling behind in the supply of ICT skills in the current workforce and on STEM performance in schools, we cannot afford to be complacent.”