Sydney, 20 April 2016: The ACS – the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector – has welcomed the release of a report by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) titled, The New Basics: 4.2 million job ads reveal the skills young people need for the new work order, which shows a mix of enterprising skills and digital literacy skills are the most critical skills young Australians will need for the jobs of the future.
ACS President, Anthony Wong, said the findings of the Report reinforce that a major skills shift is underway in our economy.
“Australia’s digital economy is expected to grow significantly over the coming years, fuelled by new waves of technological innovation that will disrupt many of our traditional sectors.
“The FYA Report analysed 4.2 million job advertisements between 2012 and 2015 and found digital skills, critical thinking, creativity and presentation skills are the top skills demanded by employers. This directly correlates to our own data that found that ICT employers are increasingly demanding workers possess broader and more general skills.”
Australia’s Digital Pulse 2016 – a report released in March by the ACS and Deloitte Access Economics – found that for ICT specialists, 6 out of the top 10 skills now sought after are non-technical such as project management, sales, and customer service, and for 2.5 million Australians in non ICT roles digital literacy skills are an increasingly important part of their job.
Mr Wong continued: “Australia’s Digital Pulse included never before seen data from LinkedIn. It showed that of the most popular 25 skills in Australia the most sought-after are technology-related, as more mainstream organisations integrate technology into their core business. This is encouraging as it means many employees in the wider workforce already have the necessary skills to perform a variety of IT-related jobs.”
The ACS Report also revealed the contribution of digital technologies to the Australian economy is forecast to grow to $139 billion in 2020, up from $79 billion in 2014, with demand for IT workers set to dramatically increase. However, IT graduates currently represent only 1% of new IT workers needed each year.
“The ACS backs the FYA’s call to action – Australia must take immediate action to ensure our youth are equipped to drive Australia’s economy forward. This includes reforms to the current education system, from primary school right through to tertiary education, further to this we must encourage better leaders and mentors our children, particularly for our girls, and we support and encourage collaborative research between business and universities.
“ We applaud the work of the FYA and look forward to working collaboratively in the future,” Mr Wong said.
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.