More than 85 percent of new jobs for information and computer technology (ICT) were occupied by international workers for the year 2015, according to a report made by the Australian Computer Society.
It is stated in the report that hiring overseas workers is now made a top priority in order to address the critical skills shortages in the ICT industry in the short term. However, they warned that our country still needs to put together a long-term action plan to take care of the skills shortage Australia now seems to have on a regular basis.
The report released by the Australia Computer Society estimated that the ICT workforce of Australia rose by 23,000 last year however, most of the skills needed in the industry were filled out by international workers. A net of 19,600 international workers (this also includes 13,900 foreign workers holding 457 visas) for the whole period, clearly implies that there were only 3,000 new ICT jobs that were occupied by the locals, and the rest were foreigners.
The occupations in the ICT industry that have the biggest number of job ads were: software developer, (technical) software engineer, technical consultant and security consultant, project manager, business analyst, and (non technical) development manager.
It was also stated in the report that the size of the digital economy in Australia is believed to nearly double within the next 6 years to $139 billion for the year 2020 from $79 billion in 2014 (which may be able to create another 66,000 jobs in information technology). However, for the ICT workforce the country already has each year, only 1 percent of that is coming from the local graduates, and there are around 14,000 IT workers through the 457 visa program who enter the country each year, which only makes up just around 2 percent of the information technology workforce.
In 2015, one of the country’s largest companies in technology gave out a warning that it is going to send its business across international waters should the rules of immigration continue to be too tight for them to resolve the continuing skills shortages and let international workers come to Australia more easily.
Mr Stephen Martin, the chief executive officer of CEDA, estimated that around 5 million occupations as we know it can just pass from our sight like those in exchange by jobs in tech. He warned that there could be a serious technological skills shortage within the next decade and a half because of fast advances in the tech industry, stating that nearly 40 percent of jobs in the country, which we still have today, have a ‘high to moderate chance’ of coming to an end and being substituted by jobs in tech, which are considered to be highly skilled.