US investment helping Aust tech sector


Friday, 11 August, 2023

US investment helping Aust tech sector

Strategic investment from the United States is contributing significantly overall to the Australian economy and boosting job numbers in the tech sector, accoring to a new report launched by the Tech Council of Australia, Microsoft and LinkedIn.

The Harnessing the hidden value: How US Tech workers boost the growth of Australia’s tech ecosystem report was released this week and shows that the US contributed $1 trillion to the Australian economy — the highest investment in Australia by any trading partner. The report’s authors suggested this relationship will strengthen through new alliances including AUKUS and the Quad and that this, in turn, will deliver a greater number of jobs and improved skills.

The report also found that US firms act as talent incubators, fast-tracking junior workers and providing the skills necessary for new companies to scale globally. These firms bring access to a higher proportion of experienced tech workers, which is the single biggest area of skills shortage in Australia’s tech sector. For example, only 1% of people working in the tech sector in Australia have experience in a scaling-up firm, compared with 17% in Singapore.

Australian tech workers benefit from having more experienced tech workers in the economy. The report found that when an early to mid-career worker can work alongside an experienced worker it lifts the productivity of a more junior Australian worker by 2.6% because of the extra coaching and training they receive.

Finally, the report showed that each year 4000 experienced workers leave US tech firms in Australia to work in tech jobs in Australian tech businesses, other industries or to found new companies. This increases access to skilled workers across the economy.

TCA CEO Kate Pounder said that technology is an increasing focus of the Australia–US alliance and continued strengthening of these ties will offer economic and strategic benefits to both nations.

“The US and Australia have always shared a close alliance. This report highlights how that relationship directly boosts productivity, as well as grows jobs and skills in Australia,” Pounder said.

“The alliance is also important to creating jobs and opportunity in Australia. We have a shared goal with the Australian Government of having 1.2 million people in tech jobs in Australia by 2030. To achieve this, we need to reskill 300,000 Australian workers and train 160,000 younger Australians to work in tech jobs. This report shows Australian workers will have access to more job opportunities, and a better coaching and training experience, due to the investment that the US–Australia alliance is facilitating.

“We also know the US market presents a huge export opportunity for Australian tech firms. When Australian firms can get access to one globally experienced worker, it has a multiplier effect for the Australian business because it helps them take on the world from home. It also means more Australians get access to global skills and experience to help develop them in their career without having to leave Australia.”

The full report can be found here: https://techcouncil.com.au/research/.

Image credit: iStock.com/Oleksii Liskonih

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