Victoria faces slow growth in ICT workforce

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 16 December, 2020

Victoria faces slow growth in ICT workforce

Victoria’s technology industry faces a challenging few years ahead, with the state expected to record the lowest projected growth in its technology workforce in Australia, according to the ACS.

The 2020 Victorian edition of the industry body’s Australia’s Digital Pulse report found that the state’s technology workforce is expected to grow by just 1.8% per annum through to 2025.

Pre-COVID Victoria experienced strong annual growth, with 12.7% more technology workers in 2019 (246,934) than in 2018 (219,073). This compares to just 6.8% growth nationally over the same period.

But low growth in the electronic trade and professional and ICT technical and professional worker groups is expected to result in far slower growth in the state’s tech sector compared to the rest of the country.

The report found that the modest growth rate will create only 52,994 extra technology roles between 2020 and 2025.

By comparison, other east coast states are predicted to grow their tech workforces at a much faster rate, with NSW forecasting 4.2% growth and Queensland forecasting 3% growth per annum.

“This year’s Digital Pulse report painted a more conflicted picture for Victoria than it has for other areas of the nation,” ACS President Ian Oppermann said.

“On the one hand, we have a short-term boom in tech workers, but this is quickly confounded with much lower predicted tech workforce growth, putting it solidly behind the rest of the eastern seaboard.”

ACS Victoria Chair Maria Markman added that, if the trend continues, Victoria will have one of the biggest gaps between the number of technology roles and the number of tech workers available to fill those roles in the nation.

“This is why we welcomed the recent Victorian Government Budget announcement of the $625.8 million Digital Futures Now program, an investment in digital infrastructure and skills across the entire state. This will help provide more skilled ICT professionals, particularly in regional Victoria, and create new jobs in important growth sectors,” she said.

The ACS Digital Pulse Report found that Australian GDP was 6.5% or $126 billion larger in 2019 than it would have been without the productivity benefits of digital technology.

Image credit: © Dean

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