Monday, May 16, 2022

Tech Council praises Budget’s ‘significant investment’ in digital skills

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Peak industry lobby group The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) has praised the federal budget for its focus on small business digital adoption skills.

CEO Kate Pounder said the plan contributes to the TCA’s goal of getting more people into the tech sector.

“We welcome the measures announced in the federal budget that support growing jobs in the tech sector. These measures will help us to have 1.2 million people in tech jobs by 2030.” she said.

“If we achieve this goal, more Australian workers can get high-paying, safe and flexible jobs. We want to be an industry that creates great jobs for Australians and work with governments to ensure Australians have the skills and support to get into it. †

Ponder said it was a “significant investment in small business digital adoption” through the Technology Investment Boost and the Skills and Training Boost.

“These measures will help small businesses grow and increase productivity, as well as invest in improving technical skills in areas such as cybersecurity,” she said.

“Companies that invested in technology during the pandemic were more likely to stay open, recover faster and create more jobs. This tax incentive will help small businesses grow even further and continue to create jobs as we get out of the pandemic.”

“This measure will level the playing field for small businesses looking to invest in technology and increase their productivity.”

The TCA chief said the government’s plan to simplify the regulatory framework for employee stocks (ESS) was also welcomed.

“This will allow Australian companies to offer shares to more employees, especially junior staffers. It is important for emerging Australian companies to help them attract, retain and reward employees at a time of skills shortages,” she said.

“This reform will create jobs. Employees who get shares in companies that are scalable can start their own business with the proceeds, which in turn creates more Australian companies and jobs.”

Pounder said the changes the ESS framework will put Australian companies on an equal footing with global competitors, who already use ESS to attract top talent.

“This is more important than ever as we encourage talent to transition and retrain in the tech industry,” she said.

Pounder said measures aimed at retraining women in the tech sector were also welcome. $3.9 million has been allocated over two years to support women in pursuing career opportunities in technology.

“Our research shows that women are most likely to take up tech jobs between the ages of 25-30. This initiative represents an important first contribution to help more women make that transition, as only 1 in 4 tech workers is female” , she said.

“Getting more women into tech jobs is a good thing for women, as tech jobs are some of the highest paying, safest and most flexible jobs in the country. The gender pay gap is also half that of other high-paying jobs.”

“What we have in our industry is a trifecta of safe, high-paying, flexible jobs that are available to all people, regardless of background or education. We want Australians to pursue a job in our industry and we want to help them navigate their career path.”

The TCA said it also recognizes other cybersecurity measures and commercialization of research and will investigate the details.

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