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Jobs and Skills Summit Commentary

As the Jobs and Skills Summit has come to an end, technology experts share their insights on ways to reduce barriers in the skills gap, why investing, upskilling and retaining talent is important, how collaboration between organisations can deliver successful outcomes and more in an escalating tech sector. Through the lens of technology experts in cybersecurity, manufacturing, cloud computing and human resources, they delve into how the jobs and skills summit is a prevalent discussion and what considerations need to be taken place. 

Attributed to Vicki Batka, Senior Vice President of APJ Sales of Trellix

“Takeaways from the Jobs and Skills Summit need to cater to the gaps found in the tech industry. In particular, plans that cater to growth of cybersecurity skills need to be realistic and take into account wider industries as they continue to tackle growing cybersecurity threats.  

One way to address the skills gap in technology, we need to recruit and invest in talented individuals from underrepresented demographic groups and those in other fields whose talents are transferrable to cybersecurity. By exploring these avenues and looking at ways to reduce barriers into technology jobs, we can open up employment pathways that are more inclusive.”

Attributed to Josephine Lanzarone, Vice President APAC of Pluralsight

“It’s encouraging to see discussions like the Jobs and Skills Summit continuing to bring the skills shortage to the forefront of the Australian public, employers and policy makers minds.

For the technology sector, Australia’s ‘Great Reshuffle’ has interrupted the adoption of emerging technologies in areas like cloud computing, machine learning, and cybersecurity, holding an estimated $315 billion in untapped economic potential from the Australian economy. What’s clear, is the widening technology skills gap is stopping Australia from becoming a leading digital economy by 2030. 

While the discussed investment in education and STEM, along with the proposed relaxing of VISA requirements to attract skilled migration will help relieve some pressure and plug existing talent gaps, the reality is these measures are often subject to bottlenecks, delays and a slow rate of effectiveness for a problem affecting businesses now. It’s by prioritising the retention of existing employees and encouraging people to enter the industry, that the economy will see immediate relief and growth. 

Retaining talent is not only more financially responsible, but also better support the progress and innovation of an organisation long-term. In fact, upskilling has been reported by 75% of Australian skilled professionals as one of the most important priorities workplaces can provide. Ensuring organisations and the industry as a whole exercises this approach will create a stable pipeline of workers in line with our global peers.”

Attributed to
Richard Gerdis, Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific & Japan of LogicMonitor 

“Every company has become a digital company, and with the accelerated rate of digitalisation, it's no surprise we now need additional talent to support the rapid technology adoptions by Australian businesses.

The Jobs and Skills Summit is a promising step towards strengthening Australia’s tech sector - a sector crucial to ongoing economic stability and growth, contributing 8.5 per cent to the national GDP. As such, we need to allocate resources to support such a sector that underpins and props up other sectors through digital transformation. It's encouraging to see the introduction of an action plan that aims to actively solve for this gap in talent and skills.”

Attributed to
Angeline Maronese, Managing Director for ANZ at Rackspace Technology:

“The Jobs and Skills Summit has highlighted the perfect storm that was the pandemic and the ‘Great Resignation’ in accelerating the shrinking of the Australian cloud talent pool. Cloud computing is the second most challenging area for finding qualified talent in the Asia Pacific region, with 77% of IT decision-makers stating that a scarcity of talent is inhibiting the adoption of new cloud development methods.  

It was promising to see The Federal Government acknowledge the technology industry as a key driver in developing the Australian economy. The outcome and support for a Digital and Tech Skills compact between government and industry is a step in the right direction. It will work to address our talent crunch, by unlocking the potential of and re-equipping Australians entering the industry with the technical skills needed to accelerate our nation’s progress and respond to the challenges of a digital economy. However, it will be some time before we reap these rewards. 

Today and looking at what can be done now, regardless of their size, organisations must be able to provide prospective cloud talent with more autonomy, training, higher salaries, more flexible working conditions and further benefits than ever before, to compete for talent that fills their skills gaps. 

Beyond this, organisations can solve business problems by tapping into a pod of experts to work as an extension of the internal team and ultimately address complex and evolving security and compliance challenges while closing the gap. By doing so, organisations can collaboratively shape and deliver successful technology outcomes that drive business impact.”


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