Australia’s IT graduates lack technical ability, business acumen and communication skills, according to the people that are considering employing them.
ASX listed company Iress polled 150 recent IT graduates and 200 IT hiring managers on their path to employment. The financial services software vendor says the results shows Australia’s next wave of technology specialists need more hands on learning.
Over a quarter of Australian IT graduates are not “job ready” despite strong technical knowledge, according to the survey. Hiring managers said more than half of IT graduates today can’t communicate effectively with clients and colleagues, and “lack business acumen”.
Iress is using the findings to reignite parts of the tech industry’s calls for a recognised apprenticeship for information technology. In August Iress along with REA Group, SEEK, MYOB, Slack and Catapult signed an in principle agreement calling for a new IT apprenticeship scheme.
While federal Employment Minister, Michaelia Cash gave tentative support to the proposal, IT was left out of the government’s apprenticeship program boost in October.
IRESS, a $2.2 billion financial markets technology company, has already agreed to pay a levy in Britain for a similar scheme of 0.5 per cent of the company’s British payroll annually.
Iress CEO Andrew Walsh says the lack of a formal program for IT apprenticeships in Australia is a missed opportunity.
“While Australian apprenticeships appear in pockets, on the whole, they’re only recognised and supported by trades, which we feel is a missed opportunity,” Walsh said in a statement.
“From our own experience internationally, we have seen the benefits of taking on apprentices, and we want to help support the next generation of talent in the tech industry. This includes people who either couldn’t or didn’t want to pursue a degree, or were looking for opportunities to retrain and get immediate hands on experience. The scheme has the potential to increase the diversity of talent in the sector and provide practical opportunities for job candidates to reskill.”
Iress says it is currently exploring participating in a pilot scheme through a state government.