Australia's tech industry has been booming and it will soon need more than 60,000 new ICT workers, according to the Australian Computer Society's Digital Pulse report.
But in the wake of declining international students and a shortage of locals taking up tech-related qualifications, the country is facing an industry talent drought.
A $64 million Digital Jobs program by the Victorian Government is already committed to combatting the issue by creating a career transition program through reskilling s via industry-backed training and job placement in technology.
Infosys is participating in this program designed to build net-new digital talent by supporting career transition of 16 mid-career workers in Victoria this year. Infosys sees immense value in reskilling mid-career professionals from different sectors, rather than relying on new workers with little to no professional experience to come along.
By equipping existing workers from the Australian labour market with the right skills, organisations can become more agile, adaptable and importantly help support the formation of a well-rounded talent model for Australia's digital economy.
A structured and systematic talent development model that invests in reskilling and upskilling is important for companies on their digital journey. While there's a strong emphasis on building STEM skills, Australian public and private institutions also need to look at fostering hybrid skills such as communication and creativity or STEAM, for the growing rates of digital jobs available.
Building a robust digital talent model
Organisations are increasingly challenged to address their talent needs, so it's important they invest in building pathways to digital careers for diverse talent pools. Beyond hiring experienced digital professionals and university graduates, there's a need to work with government and training providers such as TAFE to build a scalable digital talent model.
Infosys Australia has gone beyond traditional hiring programs by implementing a globally renowned internship program – InStep. It's also why Infosys partnered with the Victorian Government to support mid-career professionals looking for a digital career transition.
Infosys offers top-learning modules in areas such as Cloud, Cloud platforms, Agile DevOps and AWS environment through its next-gen digital learning platform Lex.
By supporting people from diverse backgrounds, Infosys is developing a workforce with hybrid skills essential for the future.
Reskilling initiatives that support existing workforces
Reskilling benefits companies just as much as it does workers. Businesses are more likely to retain employees by evolving their skills over time, thus enabling internal rotations and deployments. This ultimately leads to significantly lower rehiring costs and enables better quality recruitment over time. By opening new doors in the digital space, it's also likely that a workplace's overall diversity will improve as well.
Reskill programs can cement a culture of lifelong learning into an organisation and its people. By nurturing and supporting agile and adaptive mindsets, employees are also more likely to contribute, innovate and deliver results for the companies where they work, while also enjoying what they do.
Infosys believes there are four phases to developing and executing a successful and holistic reskilling program:
- Foundation phase – organisations should determine the top five digital skills that will be needed by a company in the next three years. By identifying key areas for growth, a company can create talent plans to develop these specific skills.
- Skills forecasting phase– it's important to forecast the short- and long-term skills needed for new and existing staff, incorporating predictions about company revenue, employee skill data, past allocation, market trends and technology advancements. Forecasting to determine future skill requirements is a good way to assess reskilling needs.
- Implementation phase – it's time to roll out the digital reskilling program. Once complete, it's best to deploy reskilled workers into projects where new skills can be applied. A challenge to reskilling is timing and deployment. New skills must be introduced at the right time, rather than too early or too late, so employees are motivated to apply their learning.
- Scaling phase – find ways to create awareness about available reskilling programs and encourage workers to take up the learning opportunities. Providing concrete financial and career incentives can assist in motivating staff in the long term.