ACS calls for increased focus on the tech sector
ACS has launched its Election 2022 platform, calling on major political parties to increase funding for technological education and regional digital literacy, with a view to boosting the sector.
The organization says that without focusing on developing digital skills and improving tech legislation, Australia risks falling behind the rest of the world.
The platform proposes nine measures to boost the country’s technology sector during the term of the next government:
- A $500 million program to boost diversity and inclusion in the tech profession
- $100 million to encourage the teaching of digital technologies in schools
- A $10,000 employer tax credit to improve the digital skills of the workforce
- Stricter cybersecurity rules for government agencies and contractors
- A $100 million crackdown on spam and scams
- $500 million to grow Australia’s regional digital economy
- Creation of a Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology
- Creation of a cabinet-level digital economy portfolio
- Create a commission to assess the needs of tomorrow’s workforce.
ACS President Dr Nick Tate said this year’s election comes at an important time for Australia’s tech sector.
“The last two years have shown the importance of the sector to the Australian economy. Everything from home work [to] check-in applications and resolving supply chain issues depend on a skilled IT workforce. Expanding this workforce is now critical to maintaining the country’s standard of living and growing our economy,” he said.
The 2022 Election Platform grew out of a series of public and member consultations over the past year to identify key technology policy priorities that would advance the national interest.
Discussions also focused on the need for Australia to strengthen its cybersecurity defenses given the critical role technology plays in all sectors, as well as the issue of online fraud and scams that cost Australians millions of dollars every year.
“The ACS election platform sets out a roadmap for the next government – whoever wins – to build on the strength of Australia’s economy over the past two years and help the nation retain its place in the digital economy,” Tate said.
“As our annual Digital Pulse report shows, we have a chronic shortage of technology workers and many of the measures we are proposing aim to address this weakness by reskilling workers, improving IT training and increasing the size of technology workforce.
“It is also essential that regional Australia is not excluded from the future economy and we have proposed programs to develop the technology sector outside the major cities.
“We also need to ensure the security of digital infrastructure and our personal technology, so we have come up with a number of ideas to ensure the integrity of our government and private infrastructure.
“I urge all parties to consider the proposals we are making. We look forward to the discussion on Australia’s role in the global digital economy and jobs of the future in the 2022 election.”
The report can be downloaded from the ACS website using this link.