Job growth in the Australian ICT has continued in the past year – and one state has jumped out in front.

According to data provided to Information Age by Australian job-hunting website Seek, South Australia experienced a 25% jump in ICT job ads in the 12 months leading up to January 2018.

ACT was next with 23% growth, followed by Queensland (21%) and Western Australia (20%).

The national average was 17%.

New South Wales, while still the largest ICT job market in the country, recorded growth below the national average..

Of all eight states and territories, only the Northern Territory experienced a decline in job advertisements, with a drop of 7%.

A Seek spokesperson explained that due to a relatively small population and industry, this could have been a change of just a few jobs.





















South Australia’s unprecedented growth comes as innovation continues to top the state’s agenda.

“There is clearly strong growth in the SA ICT sector over the last 12 months,” said Director of the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute at Flinders University, Professor John Spoehr.

Speaking to Information Age just prior to the recent SA state election, Spoehr said, “There is growing awareness in SA of the imperative to accelerate the uptake and diffusion of digital technologies to underpin future growth and productivity improvements.”

In 2017, Jay Weatherill’s former Labor government introduced a number of key initiatives with the aim of putting South Australia on the world stage.

The much-publicised, Elon Musk-led Tesla battery farm was followed by the launch of Australia’s first space centre and a $90 billion investment into high technology shipbuilding from the Federal government.

“The ICT sector is now more widely regarded as central to the transformation and modernisation of the SA economy as we pursue the Industry 4.0 agenda in SA,” said Spoehr.

“The Tesla battery project has given a very high global profile to SA’s renewable energy initiatives and is attracting offshore interest in investment in additional generation and storage technology in SA, all of which requires substantial ICT inputs.

“The investment in new hospital and health research infrastructure is a major driver of increased demand for ICT skills and capabilities. It will continue to be so.”

Shifts in education

Spoehr has more than 25 years’ experience as an ICT educator in South Australia.

In his time at both the University of Adelaide and Flinders University, he has seen ICT-related skills become increasingly valued in the education sector.

He explained that although increased recognition will help meet increasing demand for ICT professionals, a skills shortage looms.

“It is recognised that engineering, science, business disciplines will need to have higher level ICT/digital capabilities – so too will those undertaking trade training.

“The demand for ICT/digital skills will growth rapidly over the next five years with shortages likely to be a problem when the major shipbuilding projects get underway.”

Flinders University has identified this upcoming dilemma and addressed it, with the launch of its advanced manufacturing hub.

The Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub was opened by Flinders University in February.

“We have established a new digital education and training facility in support of advanced manufacturing.

“This new facility is playing a role in educating and training a new generation of engineers, computing scientists and business leaders.”