A recommendation that the Government source more ICT skills from overseas is the most publicized feature of a recent report that assessed the need for ICT skills within Federal Government agencies.
The report Meeting the Demand for ICT Skills in the Australian Public Service outlines initiatives identified by the Government’s ICT Professional and Skills Development Taskforce and ICT Skills Roundtable. It provides a list of recommendations aimed at improving the recruitment, retention and development of ICT specialists in the APS.
According to the report, in 2005-06, around 4,500 management and information professionals were nominated by employers under long-stay business visas, but fewer than 20 went on to be hired by the public service. It stated that although agencies have the authority to engage non-Australian citizens as APS employees on a case-by-case basis, the high level of approval required, issues in obtaining security clearances, as well as lack of certainty about government policy, were all identified as issues for agencies.
The report provides a set of recommendations for immediate attention in the areas of:
- Transportability of security clearances for ICT contractors in high demand
- Whole-of-Government panels for specialised ICT recruitment
- Whole-of-Government project management accreditation
- Migrant and offshore resources
- Senior executive ICT awareness
- Whole-of-Government mentoring
- Whole-of-Government ICT apprenticeships and cadetships
- Working with the education sectors