As the 2022 Federal election nears, the Australian Computer Society has urged all political parties and candidates to underscore the importance of the tech sector
ACS launched its 2022 Electoral Platform, calling on major political parties to increase funding for technology education and regional digital literacy in order to strengthen the sector
The recommendation to highlight how the technology sector is beneficial to the economy follows the release of the Australian Computer Society’s (ACS) voting platform last month, which proposed $1 billion in programs to boost diversity in the workforce Promote IT sector, improve technology education, reskill existing workers and support Encourage companies to invest in digital technologies and training.
ACS President Dr Nick Tate said this year’s election comes at an important time for the Australian technology sector.
“The Redspice cybersecurity package in last week’s Federal budget underscores the critical role the sector plays in keeping Australia secure,” Dr Tate says.
“The last two years have shown the importance of the sector to the Australian economy. Everything from working from home [to] check-in applications and alleviating supply chain issues hinges on a skilled IT workforce. Expanding this workforce is now essential to maintain the nation’s standard of living and grow our economy,” he said.
The organisation says without a focus on building digital skills and improving technology legislation, Australia is at risk of falling behind the rest of the world.
The platform proposes nine measures to boost the nation’s tech sector over the term of the next government:
- A $500m program boosting the technology profession’s diversity and inclusion
- Strengthening current cybersecurity rules for government agencies and contractors
- A $100m crackdown on scams and unsolicited spam
- $500m for growing the digital economy in regional Australia
- A $10,000 employer tax credit improving the workforce’s digital skills
- Establishing a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
- Creating a Cabinet-level Digital Economy portfolio
- $100m to encouraging digital technologies education in Australian schools
- Establishing a commission to evaluate the needs of tomorrow’s workforce.
Dr Tate adds that the pandemic has shown how technology is essential in keeping the industry and economy moving. The plans to build an advanced manufacturing and space industry will need a digitally literate workforce.
“Our annual Digital Pulse survey forecasts an annual shortfall of 60,000 IT workers and that gap is only going to widen as our need for cybersecurity specialists and other technology professionals increases.”
“Addressing this shortfall is necessary to ensure Australia’s continuing security and prosperity which is why our Election Platform last month focused on boosting the supply of digitally skilled workers across the nation, including the regions.”
“We urge all parties and candidates running to consider our Election Platform to ensure the continued strength of our economy and to deliver the jobs of the future to all Australians.”
The 2022 Electoral Platform was born out of a series of public and membership consultations last year to identify key technology policy priorities that would support the national interest.
Discussions also focused on the need to strengthen Australia’s cybersecurity, given the critical role technology plays in all sectors as well as tackling online fraud, which cost Australians millions of dollars each year.
“The ACS Election Platform lays out a roadmap for the next government — regardless of who wins — to build on the Australian economy’s strength over the last two years and help the nation keep its place in the digital economy,” Tate said.
“As our annual Digital Pulse report shows, we have a chronic shortage of technology workers and many of the measures we propose look to addressing that weakness through reskilling workers, improving IT education and increasing the size of the technology workforce.
“It’s also essential regional Australia is not left out of the future economy and we have proposed programs to grow the technology sector outside the major cities.
“We also need to keep digital infrastructure and our personal technology secure, so we have proposed a number of ideas to ensure the integrity of our government and private infrastructure.
“I urge all parties to consider the proposals we’re making. We look forward to the discussion of Australia’s role in the global digital
Discussions also highlighted the coming explosion of digital data and services that will redefine our society, and that is why we offer programs to build the skills of ICT teachers, the public sector and the workforce. work in general.
The ACA added, more immediately the nation needs to boost its cyber security defences as well as dealing with the issue of online fraud and scams that are costing Australians millions of dollars each year
Australia can’t be complacent about changes. The nation has slipped in many economic measures, including the technical skills of our workforce, the education rankings of our students, and the complexity of the Australian economy.
A copy of the digital platform can be downloaded here