What is Peoplebank (and Leaders IT) doing differently to tackle the technology skill-shortage?

Whether you work in technology or recruit within this sector, you will be aware of the huge skill shortage Australia has been facing for the last 18 months. Border closures have been a major factor in causing this shortage but there are other contributing factors which have happened over many years.

What has caused the skill-shortage?

  • Lack of students choosing IT courses at universities in Australia. This means there is a lack of emerging talent at the graduate layer. Moreover, there is still only a small number of female students studying IT courses, making gender diversity still a huge problem.
  • Roles/projects being offshored to international consultancies for many years has meant organisations have relied on low-cost delivery models instead of investing in talent on-shore.
  • With the demand for organisations to digitize, especially during the pandemic, the demand for talent has been unprecedented.

The implications of a skills-shortage

There are many implications of this skill shortage we have seen recently. One being the competitiveness for talent in the market. When a skill is in high demand and there is not enough supply if it, that, in turn, increases salaries. According to the Australian Financial Review “The cost of hiring skilled software developers, security specialists and data experts has gone up by about 30 percent in Australia in just 12 months.”

Another problem employers face is Programs being delayed due to them not having the resources to deliver. This comes with huge costs attached.

Finally, the pressure of staff shortages put on existing employees can lead to burnout and resignations. This is reflected in the huge amount of employee churn organisations are currently facing.

What are Peoplebank and Leaders IT doing differently to tackle the technology skill-shortage?

The Tech Council of Australia has a goal of employing 1 million people in tech-related jobs by 2025 and 1.2 million by 2030. Currently, there is approximately 860,000 people employed in the technology sector in Australia. They believe that re-skilling the existing workforce is important in meeting this goal. They also say that “training young people to enter the sector is also critical. An additional 12,000 students will also need to enter the tech sector workforce to meet the 2025 target of employing one million people in tech jobs.”

Leaders IT is the Consulting arm of Peoplebank. Leaders IT has developed a service called Capacity Uplift Solution, designed to tackle the talent shortage in the market. We have created this solution to provide resources at a lower cost whilst providing them with the tools and support in order to grow and develop, becoming long-term, productive, supported & increasingly valuable resources to organisations. 

Consultants are appointed as project-based employees, for at least 12 months and development is aligned to the client’s project need. Over those 12 months, the Consultant is provided with hard/soft skills and ongoing support from Leaders IT. This is run by a Program Manager to support the Consultants and client on the journey.

Consultants can come from a diverse range of backgrounds such as career transition candidates, graduates, aboriginal, ex-military, etc. Leaders IT are advocates for diversity in IT and support more females working in IT with initiatives such as 100 Women in Tech events. These events were hugely successful in bringing job seekers and employers together to network and discuss the barriers holding women back, how women can reach their goals in the tech industry, and potential job opportunities.  

Another way Peoplebank Group is tackling the diversity issue in technology is with The Peoplebank Australia Scholarship. This scholarship is offered to females who need financial support to pursue an IT course at university. We are proud to say we have supported many women over the years to enter the IT industry who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to do so.

To conclude...

The talent shortage is not going away. With borders opening, there will be some relief, but visas can take months to be approved. Organisations need to start investing in onshore talent and upskilling and reskilling the existing workforce. This is true workforce planning for the future and will set you apart from businesses who have not made this investment.