Wednesday, 24 November 2021 12:29

AIIA calls for ICT professionals to be prioritised for visas with borders reopening Featured

By Staff Writer

Australia’s tech industry peak body the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has called on the Federal Government to ensure that visas for skilled ICT professionals are prioritised to address Australia’s significant shortages of skilled workers as the country’s borders reopen.

The AIIA’s call on Government comes as it welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that fully vaccinated visa holders, including skilled workers, will be allowed to come to Australia without having to apply for an exemption from 1 December 2021.

“A priority for our sector is to grow local capability and increase the level of digital skills in our economy by working with the VET, the higher education sector, government and industry to increase the pipeline of talent to support the high demand for digital jobs in Australia,” said AIIA CEO, Ron Gauci said.

“We also must do more to demonstrate the varied and successful digital careers you can have to school leavers so they see digital careers as a preferred option full of opportunities across the range of industries in Australia’s economy.

“However, while we strive to grow the skills base locally, we do need access to certain highly skilled and in-demand people from overseas where the local market cannot supply them; from cyber security to applications development, data and analytics have been identified by the AIIA as big areas of demand.

“Australia’s economic recovery can be led by innovation and investment in technology. Governments must continue to work to address Australia’s digital skills to support our digital transformation, provide a skilled workforce to support economic growth and protect our digital sovereignty. The AIIA will continue to champion this for our members, lobby governments to support domestic skills development and support our member’s needs with platforms such as the AIIA’s Skills Hub,” Gauci concluded.

The AIIA cites ts recent survey of the Australian ICT industry which found that:

  • 73 per cent of respondents said they expect to be actively growing and hiring in 2021. 
  • 65 per cent of respondents indicated that they are looking to hire staff with cyber security skills in 2021, an increase of 10 per cent compared to the AIIA’s 2020 survey results. 
  • Cloud specific skills are the second most in-demand skills, with nearly 60 per cent of respondents indicating they will be hiring staff with these skills in 2021. 

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