[LINK] Alston, ACS clash over IT unemployment

Ann Moffatt annm@exocat.com.au
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 15:20:45 +1000


i think alston is probably still smarting from his backing of the acs & the
industry in general about the "HUGE" ICT skills shortage.

i never believed we had a skills shortage in terms of hot bodies. yes, we
had shortages of specific skills but not numbers of people.

the ict industry in oz has traditionally not spent enough on training.
curricula in unis is about 4 yrs out of date & in tafe 2 yrs out of date.
certifications can be easily 'fiddled' and many are worthless anyhow as
they teach stuff about product rather than technique.

unless we make big changes, more & more ict development will go offshore and
more ICT 'professionals' will be unemployed IMHO.

peace & love

annm
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Bernard Robertson-Dunn" <brd@austarmetro.com.au>
To: "Link" <link@anu.edu.au>
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2003 10:22 AM
Subject: [LINK] Alston, ACS clash over IT unemployment


> It's that troublesome patron again...
>
> Alston, ACS clash over IT unemployment
> Feb 21
> David Crowe
> Fin Review
> http://afr.com/it/2003/02/21/FFXK8JWJDCD.html
>
> The Australian Computer Society clashed again with the federal government
> yesterday over policy direction for the information technology industry,
> this time over the effect of the IT downturn on employment.
>
> The ACS, which has 16,000 members, called for stronger action to boost
> employment levels in the IT sector, arguing that unemployment among its
> members had reached 11.9 per cent, twice the national average.
>
> But the call was bluntly rejected by the Minister for Communications,
> Information Technology and the Arts, Richard Alston, who slammed the ACS
> for "blatant grandstanding".
>
> The clash is the second of its kind in recent months, following the
release
> of an ACS report last November on the high level of IT imports relative to
> exports, which Senator Alston rejected as "highly misleading."
>
> Relations between the ACS and Senator Alston's office are understood to be
> increasingly strained, limiting the ACS's input into federal policy on
> computing and communications.
>
> A local report by Microsoft one year ago, seen by many as a criticism of
> federal policy on broadband and other issues, was also rejected by Senator
> Alston and took relations between the company and the government to a new
> low.
>
> The latest ACS report, based on a survey of 889 members, found that 11.9
> per cent were out of work and that the rate was even higher for members
> aged 36-40 and 51-55. Unemployment among women members was 12.3 per cent.
>
> Of those respondents who were unemployed, more than 18 per cent were aged
> 41-45.
>
> The society's national president, Richard Hogg, said the country needed
> more programs to retrain computer staff by encouraging them to return to
> study.
>
> One idea put forward yesterday was to offer incentives, such as waiving
> higher education charges, for those who wanted to use their IT skills as
> teachers. "There would need to be financial support while they were
> studying education," Mr Hogg said. "There's a recognised shortage of IT
> teachers in secondary level particularly." He said the ACS was already
> discussing the idea with some state education departments.
>
> Senator Alston rejected the report for its key findings and its
> methodology, using recent national employment figures to argue that
> unemployment averaged 3.8 per cent among IT professionals in 2002.
>
> "Hopefully, anyone seriously interested in the issue will not be misled by
> such a blatant grandstanding exercise," he said in a statement. "It is
> important that those who represent the ICT sector are not unnecessarily
> negative about the state of the industry unless their conclusions can be
> fully backed up by the facts."
>
> --
> In this business you either sink or swim or you don't
> --David Snell
>
> Regards
> brd
>
> Bernard Robertson-Dunn
> Canberra Australia
> brd@austarmetro.com.au
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