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Delivering solutions to the ICT skills shortage

09 Jul 2013

Joint media release with Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation and Minister Assisting for the Digital Econmy, Senator the Hon Kate Lundy

A new report on Australia's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) workforce points the way forward to delivering solutions to the nation's ICT skills shortage and boosting productivity in the digital age.

Minister for Skills, Brendan O'Connor, and the Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, Senator Kate Lundy, today welcomed the report and noted the 16 recommendations of the ICT Workforce Study.

The report itself was one of the key recommendations from the Australian Government's ICT Skills Forum that was held in Parliament House in November 2012.

Produced by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA), the report shows that the ICT workforce is expected to grow by 7.1 per cent to almost 500,000 from 2012 to 2017 and examines the key issues that limit the supply of domestic ICT skills.

It highlights issues such as the out-dated perceptions of ICT careers, low numbers of female and mature-age workers in the ICT workforce and industry views that tertiary ICT graduates are not work ready.

Mr O'Connor said the report was an important part of the Government's response to the ICT skills shortage and identified the key challenges that lay ahead.

"The newly-established ICT Industry Working Group will carry forward this report and address key recommendations from the report relevant to the ICT industry," Mr O'Connor said.

"We are working in partnership with industry and the tertiary education sector to develop a pipeline of highly skilled ICT workers to meet our future needs."

The establishment of the ICT Industry Working Group was another key outcome of the forum held last November at Parliament. It is due to meet soon.

Senator Lundy said the increasing take up of the National Broadband Network (NBN) highlighted the need for an ICT workforce that was innovative and productive.

"The nation needs a workforce that has the skills to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital economy and we are working in partnership with industry to find solutions," Senator Lundy said.

"The challenge that this report highlights for the ICT sector is to enable innovation by attracting workers with the specialist skills to deliver and manage technological change."

The Australian Government in June 2013 released Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy - An Update to the National Digital Economy Strategy in recognition of the critical importance of Australia being digital ready.

Media Contacts: Minister O'Connor's office: 02 6277 7860
                           Minister Lundy's office: 02 6277 7977



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