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Tech Minister Ed Husic: ‘We need to stand behind ourselves more… and convince others’

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Speaking at the national launch of the 2022 Digital pulse from ACS In the National Press Club report, Secretary of State Husic called on technology sector groups – including ACS, the Tech Council and the AIIA – to work together to promote the benefits of technology and digital transformation to governments and the wider community.

“The most important thing,” said Minister Husic, “is that we are reaching out, particularly on policies within government, and emphasizing the value of the sector, not only to government, but to the wider economy and community.” .

“I think it’s been undervalued for quite some time and that’s why I don’t think the investment or attention was necessarily given to it.

“So I think the more you get involved at all levels of government to talk about this is really important, not just in terms of improving the efficiency of government through digital transformation, but obviously the economic benefit of the sector. , in terms of job growth and economic opportunities. It’s really important.”

A perfect storm

ACS Chief Executive, Chris Vein, underlined what Australia’s technology sector has to offer, describing it as a “perfect storm of opportunity”, although not without challenges, particularly in meeting the sector’s need for skilled workers.

“The challenge is that Australia is not alone. I’m from the US, from California – working in Silicon Valley, we have the same problem,” said Vein.

“But what that means then is that Silicon Valley is going after the same talent as you. And what we have now is this race to the top for talent, a war for talent, if you want to use that analogy, and it’s amazing to see to see.

“But it also offers us enormous opportunities. And you see some of those opportunities in the report.”

Digital pulse, released in Brisbane Earlier this month, it was found that the number of tech workers grew eight percent year-over-year, more than twice as fast as Australia’s workforce, which grew 3.4% last year.

by 2027, Digital pulse predicts that Australia will need more than 1.2 million IT professionals to meet demand, up from the current 870,000 working in the industry.

Need more collaboration

At the event, Minister Husic also stressed the importance of governments and political parties also working together to maximize the benefits of the technology sector, noting that the ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr; Territory Greens leader, Shane Rattenbury; and opposition leader, Elizabeth Lee, were at the launch of the ACP report on Monday.

“It’s great and speaks volumes about the politics in the ACT to have representatives from all the major parties here,” Husic said.

“I think in the longer term we need to find a way to work together on common problems. So I want to acknowledge that and as I pointed out to Andrew Barr, the ACT is undervalued.”

Over the past two years, the ACT government has launched its digital strategy, applying a government policy to how the area applies technology, followed by the launch of a Canberra Cyber ​​Security Cluster.

The Territory is also working with ACS to facilitate the transition of skilled female workers into the ICT sector.

Celebrate our talents

Finally, Husic stressed the importance of the sector to Australia, saying: “The reason I talk so much about technology, and why I think so strongly about it, is that it’s a reflection of who we are as people, that we’re smart. that we can solve problems and that we should do everything we can to celebrate that talent.”

“If you look at some of the things that we’ve mapped out as a policy, you know that, for example, we’ve put $1 billion in the National Reconstruction Fund for critical technology. We want to make sure smart people have ideas that they want to breathe life into, but they’re doing it on Australian soil, and they’ve got the capital here to back them up.

“We’re smart people and we need to support ourselves more. We need to convince others in the community to do this, and make sure they know that the technology matters, works and can make a difference.”

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