Sydney, September 25: The ACS – the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector – has welcomed Labor’s announcements yesterday aimed at driving greater innovation, entrepreneurship and a startup culture in Australia.
A Labor Government has committed to creating 100,000 university placements for STEM students, a ‘Startup Year’ for 2000 final year university graduates to kick-start Australia’s aspiring young entrepreneurs, and a ‘graduate’ entrepreneurship visa to encourage and retain talented international students following the completion of their studies.
Earlier this year the ACS released Australia’s Digital Pulse – a groundbreaking report in partnership with Deloitte Access Economics – which found that in the next five years there will be a projected demand for 100,000 additional ICT workers, and this at a time when domestic ICT graduates numbers are less than 4000 annually.
ACS President Brenda Aynsley OAM, said Labor’s focus on the key issue of increasing the supply of skilled ICT workers and improving digital workforce planning is welcome.
“Australia faces critical shortages in ICT skills, which if not addressed urgently, will retard our economic growth, reduce our standards of living and result in lower job growth in the future.”
“For too long technology education and innovation have been sideline issues. Now we are seeing both the Government and Opposition pushing the importance of our digital future.”
“Australia must move quickly to better equip itself to grasp the opportunities of the digital age – there is no time to lose with other nations already achieving significant success in reorienting their economy, society, education and work. We run the very real risk of being left behind with the negative consequences of inaction and indecision.”
“The ACS is eager to work with all political parties in addressing the policy challenges and looks forward to ongoing engagement and discussion,” Ms Aynsley said.
Thomas Shanahan, ACS, 0449 902 130
About the ACS
The ACS 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.