July 03, 2017

Filling the ICT skills gap

Statistics indicate the developed world is in the grip of an ICT skills shortage, with Australia, America and the UK among the countries worst affected. It comes at a time when demand for tech skills is set to skyrocket as the world embraces IoT, connectivity and e-commerce. So what’s behind the dearth in skills, and…

Drew StaleyBusiness Development Manager

Statistics indicate the developed world is in the grip of an ICT skills shortage, with Australia, America and the UK among the countries worst affected. It comes at a time when demand for tech skills is set to skyrocket as the world embraces IoT, connectivity and e-commerce.

So what’s behind the dearth in skills, and how can employers shore up their ICT skills supply?

The situation

According to international workforce expert ManpowerGroup: “Employers across the globe are facing the most acute talent shortage since the recession”.

“Of the more than 42,000 employers surveyed, 40% are experiencing difficulties filling roles; the highest level since 2007.

“In the IT sector, businesses are reporting the most marked talent shortage in a number of years. IT roles jump from ninth to second place this year, the most marked demand for IT in a decade.”

The report continues IT personnel, including developers, programmers, database administrators, and IT leaders and managers, jumped from the ninth “most difficult to fill” positions to the second on a global scale.

The Australian landscape

The Australian Financial Review puts it plainly: “There simply isn’t enough tech talent to satisfy the demands of both corporate Australia and the growing technology start-up ecosystem”.

And it’s an issue that’s been brewing over recent years. Australian business and individuals are among the highest adopters and users of new technology with a dependence on e-commerce and broadband infrastructure.

This has resulted in a burgeoning ICT industry and emerging start-up culture, but the number of individuals completing degrees in ICT is rapidly diminishing.

The Australian states: “Reduced demand for ICT degrees over the past decade and low completion rates means that only around 3500 people graduated with an ICT-related undergraduate degree last year”.

According to a report by Australian Computer Society that was released late last year and profiled in the Australian there has been “substantial growth in the size and financial contribution of digital technologies, which last year employed 600,000 people and contributed $79 billion to the Australian economy in 2013-14, up from $50bn in 2011”.

And the issue is only set to intensify with the report further predicting 100,000 new ICT jobs will be created in the next three years.

“The impact of disruptive technologies is expected to drive further growth with demand for ICT workers tipped to reach over 700,000 in 2020.

“You might say the future belongs to coders, the makers and talent that doesn’t just focus on consumption but rather focus on giving shape to the infrastructure that underpins the digital world.”

The solution

The solution is one of major debate being played out in the UK, US and Australia alike. Some argue there should be a greater focus on STEM subjects at school and a push to make ICT skills more compelling.

Others say business should embrace overseas talent in a bid to meet the market, while others still believe the job of ICT skills training will ultimately fall to business who breed their own skilled workforce.

Whatever the politicians and philosophers may resolve, they will need an answer soon with the clock steadily ticking, and the take-up of ICT degrees rapidly decreasing.

How we can help

Allstar Solutions specialises in the recruitment of highly skilled ICT staff. Having worked within the industry for two decades, we understand how to attract, retain and source the right skilled ICT professionals for the roles corporate Australia now demands.

We have positioned ourselves as a leading external talent acquisition business partner and are available to assist business achieve outcomes.

You can learn more about our services here, including our commitment to quality ICT recruitment, or contact us for further advice.