Australia, 07 December 2015: The ACS – the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector – has congratulated the Turnbull Government on its bold innovation policy statement, ‘Welcome to the ideas boom,’ and welcomes it as a potentially pivotal moment for advancing Australia’s economic prospects in the digital age.
ACS President, Brenda Aynsley OAM, said the statement’s focus on boosting STEM and ICT talents and skills, particularly amongst females, was very encouraging given that these skills are core to successful modern economies.
“Currently we have an overreliance on importing the ICT skills we need because our domestic education system only produces around 3500 IT graduates annually. Today the Turnbull government has addressed all elements of the education supply chain to encourage more students to pursue a career in STEM and IT professions.
“By addressing these issues we can help transform our industries and create and fill the jobs of the future. However, this is not a short-term proposal, it will take a sustained commitment to action over the coming decade or more to effect the necessary changes in our economy,” Ms Aynsley said.
Commenting on the focus on gender diversity, Ms Aynsley continued: “ACS applauds the government’s allocation of A$13M to encourage more women in to STEM careers, particularly in light of the ACS’ new report, The Promise of Diversity – Gender Equality in the ICT Profession, which outlined recommendations to increase the participation of women in ICT.
“We also applaud the Government’s commitment to elevating innovation and science to the heart of the government agenda with the creation of a special cabinet committee, chaired by the Prime Minister. This is a clear indication that this statement is just the first step in the journey to Australia becoming a world leading knowledge based economy.”
“ACS supports the government’s mission to significantly modernise our national approach to innovation. If we are to prosper in the digital age and grasp the opportunities being created by the attendant disruption, we must address issues like entrepreneurship and commercialisation, collaborative research between business and universities, ICT skills development, lifelong learning and building an agile and flexible workforce.
“ACS is also delighted to see the current political contest of ideas on innovation with Labor announcing another suite of policy measures last Friday. Australia’s major parties are now deeply engaged in the innovation agenda and the ACS looks forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to build a truly innovative and ideas based nation,” Ms Aynsley said.
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About the ACS
The ACS (Australian Computer Society) is the professional association for Australia’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.