ACS offers 17 gamechanger ideas to incoming Federal Government

| May 3, 2019

ACS, the professional association for Australia’s technology sector, has released its 2019 Federal Election Manifesto 17 #gamechangers to ensure Australians attract higher paying jobs.

The Manifesto calls out six areas:

1. An urgent need to ignite skills development underpinning the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

2. Doubling down on the capital flow available for early stage high growth tech companies.

3. The need to establish Artificial Intelligence as a national priority, taking an ecosystem development approach and focusing on the D side of R&D.

4. Establishing Australia as a world leader in technology talent.

5. STEAMing ahead through education.

6. Smart cities for a smart country.

ACS President Yohan Ramasundara said the best way to expedite technology and knowledge transfer is through the development of our nation’s Human Capital. If we want to ensure Australians attract higher paying jobs in the future, these are the high impact policy levers that need to be addressed.”

The six areas contain 17 recommendations, with the ACS calling on the incoming Federal Government to adopt all 17 gamechanger policy initiatives.

“GDP growth comes from lifting the productivity of your current workforce. In order for Australians to attract the higher paying jobs of the future we are calling for the establishment of a $100m Industry 4.0 skills fund that makes accessible micro-credentials in emerging technology areas such as data science, data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineers for blockchain, IoT and edge computing, user experience, user design and cyber security,” Mr Ramasundara said.

“One clear opportunity for our nation is to better incentivise investors so that a greater share of Australian private capital is diverted from going overseas and is allocated to early stage Australian tech companies.

“We are calling for the incoming government to facilitate a voluntary accord with superannuation funds where accord signatories commit to allocating up to 0.5% of their funds under management to high growth tech startups as a higher risk asset class.”

Mr Ramasundara said the UK’s Artificial Intelligence Sector Deal commits £0.95bn and includes funding 8,000 specialist computer science teachers and 1,000 PhDs in Artificial Intelligence by 2025. Are we doing enough to ensure Australia isn’t left behind?

“When you consider the success of Israel and Singapore in attracting inbound corporate investment, compounded by tax minimisation strategies of multi-nationals, we as a nation are not maximising our purchasing power. We need to establish and execute a national strategy that attracts multi-national R&D, engineering centres, high tech and deep tech labs to Australia – that will support building the skills and reskilling opportunities for our nation’s citizens to attract higher paying jobs.

“Australia has the second-highest computer availability in schools across the world, yet nearly 50% of our students are ICT illiterate. Education reform remains a key national priority.”