The government has undervalued the importance of the ICT sector and must better engage with the industry to address emerging challenges, respondents have claimed in a new AIIA survey.
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has published findings from a new survey of members, which include both multinational ICT firms and start-up firms based in Australia.
According to 65 per cent of respondents, governments are undervaluing the importance of emerging ICT technologies.
AIIA members called on governments to better engage with industry, with 73 per cent claiming greater consultation would address policy gaps.
Respondents also urged governments to invest in improving their ICT procurement processes (60.9 per cent).
The survey also reported an improvement in confidence in the Australian economy, with 69 per cent of respondents optimistic about the outlook.
Accordingly, 73 per cent of respondents said they expect to be actively growing and hiring in 2021, with 65 per cent indicating they are looking to hire staff with cyber security skills in 2021, an increase of 10 per cent compared with the AIIA’s 2020 survey results.
Respondents flagged that skills shortages would be the greatest hinderance to ICT sector growth.
“The AIIA’s member survey shows clearly there is strong confidence in the Australian economy amongst the ICT sector,” AIIA CEO Ron Gauci said.
“Our members are keen to continue to expand their businesses and hire local talent to support this. The demand for local skills, led by skills in cyber security, is strong in Australia.
“The skills shortages demonstrate our governments’ need to do more to help fill these skills shortages. It is important for Australia’s digital sovereignty that we are able to fulfil this demand with local skills.”
Gauci added: “Both State governments and the Federal government need to support the skills development of our domestic workforce to help meet the demand for these skills. Working and engaging with industry is the best way for governments to achieve this.”