Priority 3: Strengthening the regional digital workforce
The Digital Professional Workforce Action Plan will widen the digital workforce pipeline by skilling, reskilling and upskilling Queenslanders entering the workforce and by attracting new and more diverse cohorts into traditional and emerging industries.
Through consultation, industry indicated it needs an additional 10,000 digital professionals by 2024. Over half of the respondents (59.5%) said their organisation was expecting an ICT skills shortage in the next 12 months.
While the pandemic has accelerated the rate of digital transformation across Australia, it has also reduced the number of available ICT and digital workers, due largely to a fall in skilled migration. This presents an opportunity for Queenslanders to upskill or change careers particularly those workers impacted by COVID-19.
There is a great opportunity to widen the pipeline of talent by attracting and skilling up under-represented cohorts. For instance, women make up less than a third of Australia’s current technology workforce and older people less than 15%.
Queensland will widen and grow its professional digital workforce by attracting a wider range of people and enjoy the benefits of an increasingly diverse and inclusive pool of professionals, better reflecting the community. Queenslanders will be supported by pathways and placement options for a digital career and benefit from on the job training.
- Form partnerships between VET, registered training organisations, tertiary institutions and industry to accelerate online nationally accredited ICT and digital micro-credentialing and short courses to support those workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19, to improve their digital capability to rebound more strongly and quickly.
- Establish a mature-age digital career pathway pilot to support mature age workers and job seekers to transition careers or return to the workforce. Through this pilot we will also seek to improve regional employment opportunities by promoting remote working for digital professionals. We will target those most impacted during the pandemic.
- Establish a government and digital industry diversity program with a commitment to support 100 placements over 3 years which will lead people into employment. There will be a particular focus on ensuring we have adequate neurodiverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander placements.
- Further enhance employment opportunities by establishing a government and industry digital trainee, apprentice and graduate development program supporting 300 graduates over 3 years. This will include a targeted diversity campaign to increase representation of women, people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and mature age Queenslanders.
- People supported through the mature digital career pathway pilot.
- 100 placements over 3 years through the neurodiverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander placement program.
- Increased representation of targeted diversity group through the trainee, apprenticeship and graduate development program.
Success looks like
- Reduced digital skills and capability shortage in Queensland.
- Increased supply of digital professionals in Queensland.
- Broader pathways to cater for Queensland’s future and existing labour market.
- Increased diversity in Queensland’s digital professional workforce.
- Increased awareness and support of diversity and inclusion initiatives and benefits.
Case study: How a digital traineeship can change your outlook
A traineeship was just the opportunity Stephen needed to change tracks and launch a new career in technology following a loss of employment due to COVID-19. A long fascination with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related subjects coupled with the translatable skills of IT means that Stephen, a proud Mamu and Kullili man from Toowoomba, is now completing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traineeship in information, digital media and technology with the Queensland Government.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traineeships are offered by the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy and provide 64 First Nations young people with paid work and training until 2023. Trainees gain valuable skills and can explore a career in government through hands-on learning, with mentoring a key focus of the program.
“I am currently working at the department’s service desk managing incidents, service requests and communication issues for users,” Stephen says and “I have opportunities to learn from my peers every day. If I have questions, people will take the time to sit down and fully explain the situation.”
After years of trying different career paths in the hospitality and youth support sectors, Stephen says his mind is now set on his future. “Although I am still zoning in on what I want to specialise in, it will definitely be a career in IT. I am doing something I’m genuinely interested in and am in a very supportive environment.” The traineeship is the encouragement Stephen needed to apply for a Bachelor of Computer Science at university this year. “I will be starting university next month and I am really excited to settle on something I’m sure I want to do. When I graduate, I know the experience I learn during my traineeship will be really helpful.”
- Last updated 28 August 2023