Australian Information Industry Association


Accelerate development and maturity of Australia’s digital talent and skills base

The nature of work is changing.

Digital disruption and the casualization of the workforce means the skills Australians need to participate in the workforce have changed, and because they continue to change, will need to be continually updated.

Life-long learning, skills that support self-employment and new entrepreneurial skills are critical to Australia’s ability to grow and compete globally.

Australia needs to build capability for a 21st century global economy that is driven by data, digital technologies and innovation. This requires a skilled workforce that can ‘create’ not just ‘use’ technology.

PWC predicts: by 2050 Australia’s economy will drop 10 places in world rankings because we have under invested in non-resource areas of economy such as STEM PWC, The World in 2050 2015

ICT is Australia’s fastest growing sector - 2% compared to 1.4% pa growth for workforce as a whole.  Women represent only 28% of the ICT workforce(43% across all professional industries).Only 11% are mature aged workers(15% across the total workforce). Deloitte 2016Digital Pulse Report

2.5 million Australians employed in non ICT roles regularly use ICT as part of their job. Deloitte 2016Digital Pulse Report

45% of the jobs that we know of today will disappear in the next 15 years. 75% of the jobs replacing these will require STEM skills. PWC A Smart Move, 2016(11)

By 2030 China and India will provide over 60% of the STEM qualified workforce in G20 countries. PWC A Smart Move, 2016

AIIA calls on both sides of  Government to work with industry to accelerate development and maturity of Australia’s digital talent and skills base by:

  1. Shifting the focus from ad hoc competition based STEM activities to investment in     coordinated initiatives such as STEMNET in the UK which builds STEM capability through:
    • role models and mentors for students and teachers;
    • local STEM clubs; and
    • A STEM advisory network to support the STEM curriculum in schools.
  2. Encouraging diversity in STEM and incentivising and supporting under utilised areas of human capital such as women and mature aged workers into the ICT workforce.
  3. Improving ICT university graduate outcomes by:
    • incentivising better university teaching of industry practices in ICT by raising  the recognition of teaching (relative to that of research) through changes to university funding models and  publishing employment rates of graduates;
    • development of best practice guidelines for the effective operation of Industry Advisory Boards in universities; and
    • establishing a national level Industry Advisory Board to support improved information sharing and bench-marking across individual university advisory boards.