NSW named Australia's tech capital in ACS report

Friday, 18 December, 2020

NSW named Australia's tech capital in ACS report

NSW has been named the premier Australian state when it comes to tech, having recorded the highest proportion of tech workers in the country at 7.2% of the total workforce in 2019, according to ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2020 report.

The report forecasts that NSW’s technology workforce will grow at one of the strongest rates in the nation, at 4.2% per annum for the next five years. This is predicted to create an extra 82,503 technology roles between now and 2025.

Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, the annual report provides a detailed examination of digital workforce trends, aimed at informing public debate about this area of the economy. ACS President Ian Oppermann said the report clearly shows NSW remains Australia’s technology leader, predicting that the demand for tech workers will far outstrip supply.

“The challenge though is how government and business can begin to fill the gap. Whilst skilled immigration will no doubt play a role, the focus must be both on retaining its current tech workers and greatly increasing the number of tech workers through retraining and reskilling,” said Oppermann.

ACS NSW Chair Nikesh Lalchandani noted that the consistent message from the Digital Pulse series is the importance of technology skills when it comes to developing competitive businesses.

“It’s going to be an enormous challenge to supply businesses and government organisations with the tech workers they need. If we don’t work to bridge this gap, Australia will rapidly fall behind its competitors on the world stage,” said Lalchandani.

The Australian economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), is 6.5% ($126 billion) larger in 2019 than it would have been without the productivity benefits of digital technology. Australia’s technology workforce is also increasing at a faster rate than other parts of the economy with technology workers. The report revealed that numbers increased by 6.8% between 2018 and 2019 — the equivalent of 1.5 times the growth in the number of professional occupations over the same period.

The report also addressed how businesses have responded to the COVID-19 crisis across products, channels, people, customer service, operations and systems. It also found that, on average, highly digitally engaged businesses earn 60% more revenue per employee and grow 28% faster than businesses with poor digital management.

The Digital Pulse report also explored six key areas to improve the competitiveness of Australia’s digital economy and workforce. These included upskilling and reskilling, investment in digital capacity, research and development (R&D), shaping the digital landscape through e-invoicing, encouraging technology start-ups through employee share schemes (ESS), and improvement the measurement of the ICT sector’s contribution to the economy.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/immimagery

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