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Partnering with industry to grow Australia's tech workforce

12 May 2022

A re-elected Coalition Government will take further action to grow Australia’s tech workforce and boost more women into tech jobs as part of its plan to make Australia a top ten data and digital economy by 2030.

Building on new skills initiatives announced in the Budget and the election, the Coalition will work with industry towards a target of at least 40 per cent women making up the growing tech workforce by 2030 – up from current estimates of around 26-29 per cent.

We will also establish stronger partnerships with industry through a new Tech Workforce Roundtable, which will bring together government, industry and education sectors to boost our collective efforts to grow the tech workforce and meet growing digital skills demand.

Minister for the Digital Economy and Women’s Economic Security, Senator Jane Hume, said the Digital Economy Strategy is a key part of the Coalition’s plan to create 1.3 million jobs over the next five years, including 450,000 jobs in regional Australia.

“Every business is now a digital business, which is why our plan for the digital economy is such an important part of our plan for a strong economy,” Minister Hume said.

“The new target for women in the tech workforce builds on our record of increasing female workforce participation to record highs and narrowing the gender pay gap to record lows. This target will bolster the $3.9 million investment the Morrison Government made in this year’s budget to help women make a mid-career transition into the tech workforce.

“Australians from all walks of life are taking up tech jobs and we want to see more Australian women involved in this rapidly growing and well-paid part of the workforce.”

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said with almost 9 in 10 jobs now requiring digital literacy skills, the Coalition is already investing strongly in digital skilling and re-skilling.

“The Coalition is equipping Australians of all ages with the digital skills they need for the modern workforce,” Minister Robert said.

“By building closer partnerships with industry, developing a new technology skills passport and reforming the vocational education sector, we will open up more pathways for Australians to get a job in the fast-growing technology sector.”

The Tech Workforce Roundtable will be jointly chaired by the Ministers for the Digital Economy and Skills, with the aim of holding the first meeting soon after the election. The Tech Council, the National Skills Commissioner, Digital Skills Organisation and other participants drawn from industry and education sectors will be invited to join.

Today’s announcements build on the recent announcement of a technology skills passport and investments in the 2022-23 Budget to help transition more women considering a mid-career change into the tech workforce, expand the Future Female Entrepreneurs Program and to back small businesses with tax incentives to upskill and train their employees through the $550 million Skills and Training Boost.

They also build on our record of funding 10,000 digital places under the JobTrainer program, the Digital Skills Cadetship Trial, establishment of the Digital Skills Organisation and scholarships for emerging technology graduates.

The Coalition’s Plan for Growing the Data and Digital Economy also includes:

  • Backing small businesses with tax incentives to embrace the digital economy through the $1 billion Technology Investment Boost
  • Implementing our reforms to Employee Share Schemes to help Australian start-ups attract and retain the talent they need to compete on the global stage
  • Supporting traditional industry sectors like manufacturing and agriculture to be at the cutting edge of digital technologies
  • Establishing world-class capabilities in emerging technologies through the $111 million National Quantum Strategy and $124 million Artificial Intelligence Action Plan
  • Building Australia’s digital infrastructure through our $1.3 billion investment in regional mobile and broadband connectivity and $4.5 billion NBN upgrade plan
  • Enhancing cyber security and safety to increase trust in the digital economy
  • Expanding Australia’s world-leading Consumer Data Right
  • Reforming Australia’s payments system for the digital age
  • Opening up new opportunities for Australian businesses by implementing our Digital Trade Strategy
  • Making Australia one of the top three digital governments in the world by 2025, including through a major overhaul of myGov

Only the Coalition can deliver a strong economy and a stronger future for Australia.