A third of occupations facing severe shortages are tech jobs

Almost a third of the most in-demand occupations facing shortages are ICT-related occupations, according to an annual Australian labor market assessment highlighting areas of significant gaps.

The list of skills priorities for 2022, released by the National Skills Commission on Thursday, is the latest call for training and migration reforms, and comes ahead of a meeting of the Ministerial Skills Council on Friday.

The report finds shortages in 286 occupations in 2022, nearly double the 153 in 2021, following what it describes as a “significant tightening of the Australian labor market” over the past year, which led to an increase in vacancies.

“A common trend found was that job shortages were most acute in professional occupations, requiring higher level qualifications and experience, and skill level three occupations among technicians and trades workers,” says The report.

technology workers

According to job vacancies data, software and applications programmers and ICT business and systems analysts are two of the top 10 in-demand occupations, with 7,841 vacancies and 3,830 vacancies, respectively.

Of the 66 “high future demand” occupations identified as suffering shortages nationally, 19 were ICT-related roles, including programmer developer, software engineer, software tester, software and applications programmers, and software analyst. network.

Nine of the 19 roles are new to the shortage list. They are systems analyst, web developer, programmer analyst, database administrator, network and computer systems engineer, network administrator, network analyst, ICT quality assurance engineer and ICT systems test engineer.

There is also a nationwide shortage of cybersecurity positions such as Penetration Tester, Cyber ​​Governance Risk and Compliance Specialist, Cybersecurity Advisory and Assessment Specialist, Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Architect, and cybersecurity operations.

The Northern Territory also suffers from a lack of ICT project managers, management consultants and systems administrators, in addition to professions with high future demand facing national shortages.

A number of other professions with moderate future demand are also affected by shortages, including ICT business analyst (which was not in short supply in 2021), cybersecurity engineer and devops engineer.

Skills Minister Brendan O’Connor said the report “reinforces the urgent need to tackle skills shortages”, citing the Jobs and Skills Summit and the Jobs and Skills Bill. skills in Australia before the Senate as some of the government’s recent moves.

Shadow minister for science and the digital economy, Paul Fletcher, said the list was further evidence of the “significant skills shortage” facing the tech sector, which has been “made worse” by the pandemic.

“For Australia’s tech sector to realize its growth potential, the skilled immigration pipeline must be open,” he said, pointing out that Australia would need an additional 653,000 tech workers over the next eight years. .

“Much of this gap can and should be filled by workers trained and developed in Australia. But it will also require the government, in the words of the Tech Council, to “streamline skilled migration into experienced, well-paid technical roles with chronic shortages”.

The former coalition government halved the number of admissions under the permanent migration scheme for highly skilled technologists known as global talent in 2022-23 ahead of May elections, despite labor shortages -work.

The new Labor government pledged to increase the permanent migration rate from 35,000 to 195,000 at the Jobs and Skills Summit last month, but it is unclear whether this will lead to additional visas for global talent.

Australian Computer Society chief executive Chris Vein said it was ‘not surprising to see two of the top 10 occupations with shortages being IT-related roles’ after years of decrying the growth industry fast.

He said addressing the shortages would require more than boosting short-term migration, but noted that making more visa slots available would also be needed, in addition to workforce development programs. work.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley by email.

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