Queensland government pins economic recovery on promise of digital workforce

By Melissa Coade

Thursday June 24, 2021

(Adobe/Ines Porada)

A four-year action plan for Queensland’s digital professional workforce was launched on Thursday as part of the state’s ‘plan for economic recovery’ and in a bid to generate thousands of extra jobs by 2024.

Digital economy minister Leeanne Enoch said the plan, together with an $8 million state government investment to help locals secure digital jobs would help to generate ‘more jobs in more industries’. 

“Industry is forecasting that we will need tens of thousands more digital workers in our state by 2024, which is why we are focused on skilling Queenslanders so we can harness these opportunities,” Enoch said.

According to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, digital skills are among the top four skill sets employers look for in prospective candidates.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister added that digital transformation was occurring faster than ever before. She said she hoped the new plan would see job-seekers embracing the opportunities that came with this change and deliver a ‘strong and diverse digital economy’ for Queensland.

“We are seeing digital innovations coming from agribusiness, manufacturing, building and healthcare, which demonstrates just how vital these digital skills are,” Enoch said. 

“Initiatives will also be rolled out to encourage more school leavers into digital and ICT courses and secure placements for neurodiverse people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples,” she said. 

Queensland’s digital professional workforce action plan is part of the state’s broader Future Skills Fund. The fund, which was announced last year, aims to assist people whose employment was impacted by the pandemic to access ‘digital re-skilling’ to expedite their return to work.

“It is an inescapable conclusion that Queensland needs, in the short and long term, to build a steady pipeline of digitally skilled talent to maintain growth and generate more jobs,” Dr Nick Tate, Council of ICT Associations (CICTA) chair said.

“Our technology companies must be cutting edge; other businesses must be capable of embracing new ways of working and many workers displaced by COVID-19 need help in identifying rapid reskilling opportunities.

CICTA worked with the state government and industry leaders to developed the action plan and Tate said he looked forward to future collaboration with stakeholders.

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