Vic spends to boost IT worker numbers

Victorian ICT Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips today announced that the state would spend $2 million to "secure a skilled information and communication technology (ICT) workforce".

Victorian ICT Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips today announced that the state would spend $2 million to "secure a skilled information and communication technology (ICT) workforce".

The two-year program is three pronged in its approach. It will attempt to:

  • improve awareness of IT careers amongst students, especially those in high schools; according to research that Rich-Phillips cited, many students don't understand how many paths ICT can open
  • improve the quality of university and TAFE courses so that graduates are ready for jobs, with a focus on the skills needed for systems enabled by high-speed broadband
  • increase the number of ICT workers coming from career changes and grow the number of women in IT.

    "While Victoria's ICT workforce is growing twice as fast as the national average, and produces one third of national IT graduates, we still need to put in the groundwork to ensure we are prepared for future challenges," Rich-Phillips said in a statement.

    "As a growing number of industry leaders in ICT set up their Australian bases in Victoria, and with ICT becoming a more integral part of running a successful business, demand for trained professionals in Victoria is guaranteed to rise."

    Around 145,000 Victorians are employed in ICT in Victoria, accounting for over 5 per cent of the total Victorian workforce, he said.

    The skills initiatives will form part of the Victorian Government's new ICT plan, according to Rich-Phillips, which is expected to be released later in 2011.

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