ACS, (the professional society for Australia’s ICT sector) has released its latest ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse report this week, revealing projected demand for over 200,000 additional ICT workers over the next five years.
The 2018 edition of the annual research report was launched at Parliament House on Wednesday 27 June 2018 by the Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation.
The new report shows that:
- 63,000 new tech jobs were created over just the last three
- ICT services exports increased by more than 60 per cent over the past five years to reach $3.2 billion in 2016‑
- Australia is no longer a net importer of ICT services, with exports now outstripping imports by $290m.
- Business ICT R&D has increased by almost 50 per cent to $6.6 billion in the five years to 2015‑
- Further adoption of digital technologies has the potential to add an extra $66 billion to Australia’s GDP over the next five
- Becoming an international leader in digital skills and employment would involve an extra 100,000 ICT jobs – in addition to the 100,000 already forecast over the next five years.
The report highlights that Australia’s ICT workforce grew from 640,800 workers in 2016 to 663,100 workers in 2017, an increase of 3.5%.
Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, the report forecasts demand for ICT workers is set to grow with the Australian economy requiring an additional 100,000 workers (to 758,700) by 2023.
“The demand for digital skills in our economy is exploding,” said ACS President, Yohan Ramasundara. “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,” Mr Ramasundara added.
The report also investigates Australia’s international competitiveness in ICT, finding that Australia is in the middle of the pack without any movement over the last five years.
Deloitte Access Economics Partner, Kathryn Matthews, pointed to early warning signs that Australia could end up a passenger on the digital journey, with other countries in the driver’s seat, which could have flow‑on impacts on productivity and living standards.
“Australia ranks 12th out of the 16 countries surveyed 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,” Ms Matthews said. “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.”
ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2018 investigates the digital policy environment in Australia and looks at the potential levers to encourage businesses to invest in new technologies, innovation and skills development. It reveals how the country can accelerate digitally led economic growth and improve Australia’s overall international ICT competitiveness.
The full report can be downloaded at https://www.acs.org.au/content/dam/acs/acs-publications/aadp2018.pdf