Computer Society: layoffs a 'knee-jerk reaction'

The current economic downturn represents an "excellent" opportunity for Australia to gain competitive advantage by investing in "Information and Communications Technology" (ICT) skills, according to the Australian Computer Society's president John Ridge.

Speaking at a conference for CIOs in Sydney, Ridge said the current spate of belt-tightening and lay-offs in the US was a "knee jerk reaction" to the current economic slowdown, and ignored the long-term implications of innovation, technology, the Internet and e-business.

Ridge called on Australian businesses and government to put resources into building jobs and skills in the sector and to take advantage of the slowdown to position Australia for maximum future benefit.

"Fortune favours the brave. While technology stocks might be out of favour right now, the reality is that e-business and the Internet are inevitably going to change the way we do business and live, and the demand for ICT skills will continue to grow strongly in the medium to long term."

"We should use this time to build a surplus of skills and invest in innovation and its commercialisation to ensure we have solid offerings to take to the world as the recession begins to ease," he said.

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