Tech Council says 10,500 new IT jobs created in past six months

James Riley
Editorial Director

The latest Tech Jobs Update report from the Technology Council of Australia has found 10,500 new tech jobs have been added in the six months to March, despite the strong economic headwinds and widespread reports of layoffs by some of Australia’s largest tech companies.

The report, to be launched by the Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic and Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor at Parliament House on Tuesday morning, found that an 8 per cent increase last year brought the country’s current tech workforce to 935,000 as of February. It found that 17,000 new tech jobs had been added in the past year.

Most of the growth came in the ‘indirect tech sector’, defined by the Technology Council as tech-intensive jobs in non-tech industries ranging from retail to banking, professional services, government and mining.

The current workforce of 935,000 is 78 per cent of the target of 1.2 million jobs by 2030 that was set by the Tech Council and then adopted last year as a commitment by the Albanese government.

Tech Council chief executive Kate Pounder

Ms Pounder told Radio National on Tuesday that finding the additional 265,000 tech workers to meet that target will primarily come through the re-skilling of Australian workers.

“We think that the main way that people are going to come into tech jobs in Australia is through reskilling and upskilling,” Ms Pounder told the ABC. “That [provides] pretty incredible opportunities for Australians, because these are amongst the highest paid jobs in our economy.

“But training young Australian will also be an important pathway. And then finally, we’ll need to talk that up through the migration system, particularly for really experienced roles in areas like cybersecurity,” she said.

Despite the reports in recent months of a downsizing among tech firms, the Tech Jobs update found that jobs in the direct jobs sector had remained stable. In fact, the TCA says its research shows that for each job lost in the past quarter, 20 have been created.

“This shows that skill-transferability and flexibility are some of the major benefits of being employed in the tech sector,” Tech Council chief executive officer Kate Pounder said.

“The skills tech-workers have can be easily employed at any company, anywhere in the country.

“Tech is now a major employer in all states and territories, with the tech workforce being Australia’s 7th largest employing industry. Across every state and territory, tech jobs are growing faster than the average job in those economies.”

The research ultimately showed that the jobs growth in tech demonstrated that technology and technology workers were integral to all areas of the economy.

The world’s leading economies were focused on digitally upskilling their workforce, and Australia should be at the forefront of this transition, Ms Pounder said.

“The growth of tech jobs in non-traditional tech industries reflects a long-term structural change in the Australian economy and shows that digital skills are becoming deeply embedded into all facets of the economy,” she said.

The report also showed that average wages for tech jobs remained high, at approximately $132,000. Jobs in the direct-tech sector were the second highest of any advertised on SEEK in the past year, only coming behind CEO’s.

“Tech jobs are high paying and important,” Ms Pounder stated, “and importantly, their flexibility makes them accessible for those that have faced discrimination in other sectors, such as women and the differently abled”.

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