Australian ICT industry growth is being constrained by skills shortages in key industry sectors, along with a downturn in telecommunications employment and research & development (R&D) spending, according to a report released recently by the Australian Computer Society (ACS).
The ACS ICT Industry Report, conducted for the society by the Centre for Innovative Industries Economic Research Inc (CIIER), provides an overview of the Australian ICT industry as of December 2007. The primary mechanism that is used to provide the data for the report is a regular, detailed survey of ICT companies in Australia.
ACS President Kumar Parakala said the primary concern identified by the ACS Industry Report was that ICT skills shortages are now negatively impacting ICT industry performance. This will have significant economic flow-on effects for Australia and Australian business at a time when global industry growth is paramount, Parakala claimed.
"The report provides a significant overview of the current state of the ICT industry and its impact on other industry sectors. Of the 514,000 ICT professionals currently working in Australia, more than 268,000 work directly in the ICT industry, supplying ICT goods and services to every sector of the economy. Findings suggest that employment volatility is declining, vacancies are up to record highs and employment growth is slowing.
"There are three key factors creating significant pressure on the ICT industry performance -- a downtrend in telecommunications employment, a reduction in the number of Australian ICT companies in the market, and a continued decline in R&D spending," Parakala said.
Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report