What’s in store for the Canberra technology workforce?

7 June 2021


  • This fortnight has been extremely busy, and that’s not including the long weekend.
  • Dr Vicki Gardiner, ACS Canberra Branch Manager has been chatting with many members, employers and recruiters over the last few weeks at both events and one-on-one meetings.  One theme that keeps coming up is the challenge of finding skilled staff. And it is no wonder!

The 2021 ACS Digital Pulse, which was launched in Canberra last week as part of Congress, reports that the ACT workforce has grown by 16.3 percent over the past year.  This is nearly four times the industry’s national growth of 4.3 percent.

And with the expected average annual growth still expected to be 5.5 percent over the coming years, there is still going to be a demand.

This year’s Digital Pulse focused on three key areas to ensure Australia has the future technology workforce it needs, both in capacity and capability.

  1. Ensure all Australian workers have the technology skills required by employers: In 2020, software programing skills were the most demanded skills while an AI specialist workforce is forecasted to grow five-fold by 2030, including professionals in computer vision, robotics, data science, human language technologies and other related fields.  Importantly, more than half of the top 10 skills most demanded were non-technical professional skills – communication, teamwork and problem solving. 
  2. Promoting gender diversity in the technology workforce: Women make up 29 per cent of the employment in technology in Australia, compared to 47.5 per cent in other professional, scientific and technical services industries.  Increasing gender diversity would grow Australia’s economy by $1.8 billion each year on average over the next 20 years and could create almost 5000 FTE jobs on average each year.
  3. Increasing professionalization could also promote the quality of technology workers in Australia: Professionalisation is when individuals of a shared occupation agree to practices for education, codes of practice, ethical behaviour and standards for products and services.  Deloitte Access Economics has identified three primary benefits of professionalization: increased trust, improved capabilities and efficiencies, and innovation from promoting agreed standards on products or services.

The ACS Canberra is looking at how it can contribute to these three areas through reviewing its professional development offerings.  

With respect to the first area of focus, we are building stronger relationships with the university and VET sectors in the region to assist with connecting students to the workplace.  We are also working with employers on how to build the strategic capability of staff.  Finally, we are reaching out to other professions to collaborate on increasing the digital skills within their sectors

ACS Canberra is walking the talk of helping students transition to the workplace by taking on an intern student to undertake a project that will be promoting women in the technology sector, in particular those who have come through a non-traditional pathway.  

Finally, we are going to start an awareness and recognition campaign of Certification and its value - to the individual, organisations and the sector.  

So how can you contribute?  We want to hear from you, see you and work with you to take these key areas ahead.  There are so many ways you can contribute as individuals and organisations.  Through taking a coordinated approach as a sector, can you imagine how we can collectively build the technology workforce of the future and the influence of technology professionals and the ACS?

Find out more about how to become a member of ACS, go to www.acs.org.au