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Is Australia facing an IT skills shortage?

Is Australia facing an IT skills shortage?

Information technology skills are becoming increasingly important.

Technology has become a crucial facilitator of productivity in workplaces across Australia. Most industries have revolutionised their practices using the latest IT developments and innovations.

However, the fast pace of technology’s evolution means businesses face a number of challenges when trying to take advantage of new opportunities that modern tools create.

Last year, Deloitte Access Economics partnered with the Australian Computer Society to publish research that studied digital growth in the country. According to the report, the IT industry’s contribution to the national economy has climbed to 5.1 per cent of gross domestic product.

The Australia’s Digital Pulse survey also highlighted a 5 per cent rise in the number of professionals in IT-related jobs. Nevertheless, the research predicted there will be a gap of 100,000 workers in key technology industries within the next five years.

IT traineeships are one way employers can prepare their organisation for potential skills gaps. If you are considering offering a placement, sign up with Apprenticeship Central to see how an apprentice or trainee could benefit your business.

Traineeships enable organisations to establish a talent pipeline for the future, ensuring they have qualified candidates who can progress into increasingly important roles in the company. Employers are also able to specifically tailor applicants’ training to the enterprise’s unique operating processes.

Furthermore, apprentices and trainees who complete their qualification are often keen to remain with the business that provided their training. This trend helps boost staff retention, which lowers recruitment costs and prevents key employees from moving to competitors.

IT skills in high demand

The impending IT skills shortage is an issue that SAP ANZ President and Managing Director John Ruthven recently addressed in an interview with Australian Reseller News.

“If the gap is not bridged, we face local and international consequences,” he explained.

“In 2016, the government, businesses, technology leaders, not-for-profits and industry associations must come together to overcome this challenge to engage and inspire people to learn the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills crucial to our future success.”

Businesses that focus on consolidating their technology platforms experience a number of benefits, Mr Ruthven added. These include lower total cost of ownership, improved analytical and predictive abilities, and greater innovation.

Unfortunately, employers that fail to put in place adequate measures to fulfil their future IT staffing needs could find themselves struggling to compete with more agile, tech-focused competitors.

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