Skills crisis, what skills crisis?: Coonan

Skills crisis, what skills crisis?: Coonan

Summary: Senior politicians have warned that Australia is heading for an ICT skills crisis with the country's students outpacing their teachers in their knowledge of technology.

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Senior politicians have warned that Australia is heading for an ICT skills crisis with the country's students outpacing their teachers in their knowledge of technology.

Speaking today at an Australian Computer Society event in Sydney, Labor's deputy leader in the Senate, communications spokesperson Stephen Conroy, said: "Along with the infrastructure overhaul, Labor recognises we need to move quickly to address the skills crisis."

The "crisis", according to Conroy, is manifested in the falling number of students studying ICT subjects at universities, down 9,000 year-on-year.

"Australia is facing a skills crisis in the sector. We need to think of the pipeline effect that will have in the next couple of years. It's only going to get worse," he said.

Senator Lyn Allison, leader of the Australian Democrats, concurred with Conroy's view that the sector also needs an image makeover to attract more students to study technological and scientific disciplines.

"I agree we've got to turn that perception around. If we don't change that situation we're never going to enthuse people," Allison said.

Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts, hit back at the suggestion the government is not doing enough to promote IT, maths and science in Australian schools.

Coonan described her rivals as having "an extraordinary lack of information" and making "facile criticisms" of the government's record.

Topics: Broadband, Government, Government AU, NBN, IT Employment

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8 comments
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  • Coonan says wha?

    Once again coonan displays her lack of knowledge and lack of touch with the real world.
    anonymous
  • The previous person was being polite

    Like all politicians in this country Coonan needs a reality check.
    Most students had better IT knowledge and skill base then their teachers 10+ years ago.

    Obviously Coonan's staff has been feeding bullshit to keeep their jobs.. What a perfect example of "Yes Minister"
    anonymous
  • Outsource

    When the government and business outsouce to India what do you expect ?
    Most of the remaining IT students are from the Southern Continents of Asia and Asia itself.
    We educated them as paying students and they either take what jobs become available here and get a working Visa, or go back and work in their own country's IT business system who recogonise the need for trained staff and are willing to pay for it.

    Oh its the industry who created the shortfall when they employ $30k per year Person on a Working Visa program when they should have been paying that $90k for the person right here.

    The industry always bitches and crys there is a lack of staff when they run out of "Working Visa" slaves that no right minded Australian would accept.
    anonymous
  • Outsource Agreement

    I don't believe there is any real 'skills shortage' in any industry in Australia, including IT, which is what I am in.
    What we really have is a lack of employers willing to take the skills of a huge number of readily available workers and develop them to their own needs. I explain to lots of people that IT is one of the most expensive industries to be in - think of it, you have to stay up to date ALL the time, with products, services, technologies changing on an almost daily basis. And unfortunately, who has the resources to keep the workers up to it - certainly not the workers themselves, or those trying to break into IT. No, it's the employers - but how many of them out there are actually investing in the future of their employees, and themselves? - Very few.
    No, any perceived skills shortage has been brought upon by employers and industry, who have been unwilling to take on trainees/apprentices or people who don't have the exact requirements for a job. The skills shortage has been created by these same people who are more than willing to employ oversees imports for peanuts.
    If you're reading this, and you're an employer - hire a trainee, or an apprentice. Or even look at the credentials of all job applicants - you just might be surprised.
    anonymous
  • Awareness shortage

    What does Ms Coonan think will support and run businesses into the future?
    How does she think that Australia will continue to stay ahead of the game if we don't invest in training?
    Training and skills are an intrinsic coponent of business and human capital development. We need that investment and we need to develop strategies that engage with existing and new people in the field.
    Failure to do so will undermine and weaken our long term viability.
    The sooer Ms Coonan steps aside and somone with a deeper understanding of the industry takes on the role the better.
    anonymous
  • Too pessimistic job requirements

    In Australia copanies advertise for the positions with such varied skills requiremt which makes it really hard for someone to fit in. Also I have seen many ads which requires lot of experience for instance Developer required for .Net programming with 6 years of experience. .Net was not even in the market 6 years ago, which explains why there is a skills crisis.
    anonymous
  • Senator Coonan

    I remember St.Coonan told Kerry O'Brian on 7.30 Report once that Australians where happy with their Broadband speeds.I choked on my drink when she said that.
    anonymous
  • EDDIE CHOKED ON CONEHEADS COMMENTS

    MATE I LAUGHED TOO AND IT DID NOT STOP THEIR EITHER SHE ALSO in PQT THAT AUSTRALIANS DID NOT KNOW WHAT HsB WAS.WHAT AN INSULT I WAS THEN AND STILL IS ON 2 PAIR GAINS LINE,I WAS MORE THAN AWARE OF BB AND OPTIC FIBRE AS A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE INSTALLED IT WA.
    THE LIES THAT ROLL OF HER FAT BOD MAKE ME PUKE MATE.THE YANKS AT THE HELM OF OF TELSTRA SCREWED EVERTHING UP AT JOHN H REQUEST TO SELL IT.NOW THEY WHAT TO EMPLOY TEABAGS TO RUN IT ON NO CHOICE AGREEMENTS WHAT A FARCE.
    anonymous