by Jennifer O'Brien

What Labor’s promise to invest in digital skills means for CIOs

May 14, 2019
Artificial IntelligenceAugmented RealityBig Data

If successful in this weekend’s Federal Election, Labor has pledged to allocate 5,000 fee-free digital and ICT TAFE spots in a bid to provide Australians with the training they need for the jobs of the future.

In response to the news, Pluralsight Asia Pacific director, Fiona Sweeney, dished out her views about the effect it will have on Australia’s tech/digital skills gap – and where CIOs come into the picture.

“As is the case globally, there is both a shortage of tech talent and a digital skills gap in Australia. Although the private sector is making great strides to address the talent shortage by pushing for higher education training, it will not be sufficient to close the global digital skills gap,” Sweeney said.

“Technology will only continue to expand, and currently, the emerging workforce is not able to match its rapid growth. This presents an opportunity for existing talent to be upskilled to provide a high calibre of multi-talented technology professionals in Australia.

“To avoid the risk of our digital skills gap widening, organisations are encouraged to action a strategic plan, providing skill development platforms that are easily accessible by all employees to improve their technology skills. In turn, this will provide a strong foundation for CIOs to empower their employees and drive the uptake of digital skills within their organisation.

“By keeping pace with the rapid change of technology and acquiring the right skills, organisations can make a natural progression to being equipped to face the many challenges of the future, such as digital literacy and ICT job demand.”

Meantime, if elected, Labor has also pledged to task its Apprenticeship Advocate to refresh and expand the digital traineeship pathway to help tackle digital skills shortages.

Both these moves are part of a broader push by Labor to help drive what it says is the uptake of digital skills by Australians and to help people adapt to future technological change.