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SA tech jobs to lag after COVID boost


South Australia’s tech workforce is expected to lag behind the rest of the nation over the next five years despite outpacing other states during the COVID pandemic, a new report has found.

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SA’s IT sector workforce is forecast to grow 4.6 per cent per annum over the next five years, below the national predicted increase of 5.4 per cent according to the 2021 ACS Digital Pulse report.

During COVID, the state’s IT sector grew 5.8 per cent in 2020, beating the national average of 4.3 per cent.

Almost 35,000 people work in the state’s tech sector, up by just over a thousand from 2019.

Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics for ACS and released today, Digital Pulse tracks the key trends in Australia’s technology workforce and the sector’s potential over the next five years.

ACS President Ian Oppermann said South Australia’s technology workforce was predicted to lose the momentum gained during the coronavirus pandemic.

“South Australia has some unique tech initiatives including the Australian Space Agency, the impressive Lot Fourteen – which itself includes the space-propulsion developer Neumann Space –  and the Australian Institute of Machine Learning,” he said.

“It will be important to grow the state’s technology workforce to maximise the benefits offered by these initiatives.

“With advances in fields like machine learning and workplace automation, industry and government will see increased reliance on IT professionals in coming years, so we would like to see SA at the same levels as the rest of the country.”

Over the next five years, the national technology workforce is forecast to exceed 1.1m Australians, growing more than four times faster than the broader labour force numbers.

However, ACS says current trends indicate an impending gap between the need for an extra 60,000 technology workers each year and 7000 domestic IT degree graduates.

The professional association for Australia’s technology sector says boosting reskilling and restarting skilled migration will be essential to meet Australia’s ICT needs.

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