Sun keeps Oz in IT skills race

An explosion in technology is occurring across the globe, causing massive deficiencies in the amount of skilled workforce available. However, Sun Microsystems claims to have the answers to help Australia keep pace alongside the rest of the world.

An explosion in technology is occurring across the globe, causing massive deficiencies in the amount of skilled workforce available.

AUSTRALIA (ZDNet Australia) - However, Sun Microsystems claims to have the answers to help Australia keep pace alongside the rest of the world.

"The rate of increase overall in the IT sector is higher than the availability of skills," Sun vice president and general manager, education services, Dr Bill Richardson said.

The emergence of technologies using Java platforms, such as the new Nokia mobile phone, has led to one major area of skill deficiency in the IT sector, according to Richardson.

"We're not seeing the right number of skilled workers coming out of the education system, and the number of people that are trained leave to work overseas because of the weak dollar," Richardson added.

"Basically, the growth in technology is exploding and Australia needs to keep up."

To help tackle Australia's IT skills shortage Sun has unveiled a multi-million dollar centre for Education and Training in Victoria and a Java scholarship program for 15 Victorian students.

These latest initiatives come on the back of Sun's AU$1.6 million grant to install technologies in four centres Australia-wide and the rollout of a NSW scholarship program - both announced yesterday.

Sun, which expects the amount of skilled workers in IT to grow from 2.5 million to about 4.25 million over the next three years, anticipates the centres will each train approximately 2000 students per year.

"There are two issues associated with the skills shortage, one is to solve today's problems, and the other is to solve the problems for the long term," Richardson said.

"We want to make sure the future workers coming out of the education systems are appropriately trained for the technology needed in the industry."

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