ACS calls for $100m Industry 4.0 skills fund

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 07 May, 2019

ACS calls for $100m Industry 4.0 skills fund

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is calling on whichever party wins the next election to establish a $100 million fund to develop the critical skills needed for the Industry 4.0 era.

The industry body made this and a series of other recommendations as part of its recently released Federal Election Manifesto for 2019.

According to the manifesto, Australia is facing an “urgent need to ignite skills development underpinning the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

The ACS notes that employer demand for AI-related jobs in Australia has doubled since 2015, and Australia will need 38,000 more data science workers and 11,000 more cybersecurity workers in the next five years.

The fund should be linked to training packages and nationally recognised qualifications as minimum occupation standards, the ACS said.

Meanwhile, to stimulate capital investment in innovative Australian tech start-ups, the ACS is calling on the new government to develop a scheme aimed at encouraging superannuation funds to commit up to 0.5% of their funds under management towards investing in high growth tech start-ups.

To establish Australia as world leader in technology talent, the ACS is calling for initiatives including the development of strategies for attracting multinationals to open R&D, engineering centres, high tech and deep tech labs in Australia.

“GDP growth comes from lifting the productivity of your current workforce. In order for Australians to attract the higher paying jobs of the future we are calling for the establishment of a $100m Industry 4.0 skills fund that makes accessible micro-credentials in emerging technology areas such as data science, data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineers for blockchain, IoT and edge computing, user experience, user design and cybersecurity.”

Other recommendations include making AI research and commercialisation a national priority, investing to improve Australia’s STEAM education capabilities and the establishment of a National Smart City Authority to oversee the modernisation of Australian cities.

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