Tackling the digital skills shortage

Wednesday, 06 December, 2023

Tackling the digital skills shortage

The NSW Digital Skills and Workforce Compact was recently launched by the NSW Government.

The Compact will promote digital careers across the state to students, parents and advisors, advancing tech careers in traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, First Nations people, and those residing in regional and remote areas. It aims to address the projected shortage of 85,000 digital workers in NSW by 2030.

“Research commissioned by the NSW Skills Board shows that NSW is projecting a shortfall of 85K digital workers by 2030,” said Steven Worrall, Chair of the NSW Skills Board and CEO of Microsoft ANZ.

“We need to increase opportunities for more people to come into these roles, as existing pathways won’t meet this demand. The Compact is crucial to meeting the 85,000 shortfall and ensuring we create a sector that reflects the diversity of NSW. Compact Partners intend to achieve 20% of new hires coming from alternative pathways by 2030.”

There are 37 participating Compact Partners, spanning the highest levels of industry. Combined, Compact Partners have a reach of 1.7 million students and represent over 340,000 digital workers in NSW.

The partnership will support industry in developing and implementing new employment pathways, giving new workers on-the-job training experiences to start a long-term career in the digital industry.

“The NSW Digital Compact represents a significant opportunity for government to work with industry to change people’s idea of ‘tech’, expanding the inclusivity of the sector,” said Steve Whan, Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education.

“We're not just bridging the skills gap; we're building pathways for thousands of students, parents and advisors to explore and embrace tech careers.”

The Digital Compact aspires to achieve the following milestones:

  • Transform the perception of digital careers, enhancing diversity in the sector, fostering welcoming and productive workspaces.
  • Collaborate with industry partners to expand and enhance new pathway programs for tech roles, including traineeships and work experiences.
  • Extend the reach of mentoring and networking programs to engage a more diverse audience.
  • Provide increased opportunities for the people of NSW to reskill or upskill in tech-related roles.
  • Establish a collaborative platform with universities, TAFE, school curriculum providers and industry experts to create a Digital Education Forum dedicated to enhancing tech education and industry partnerships.

Image credit: iStock.com/Natali_Mis

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