tech mcevoy industry mr jobs australians fill

techsuch May 9, 2021 0 Comments

Who will fill tech jobs that no Australians are trained for?DEAN McEvoy has a conundrum.The businesses he works with as CEO of IT industry group TechSydney have jobsto fill.They’re cool companies. The tech start-ups he works with share the values —innovation, flexibility, social conscience — that young people look for in anemployer, and the pay’s not bad either.A senior product manager for an equivalent company in Silicon Valley couldrake in upwards of $300,000. At a smaller Aussie start-up the pay wouldn’t beat that quite at that level, but applicants could certainly expect sixfigures.The problem? No one in Australia can fill this job.And now that the Turnbull Government has announced restrictions on which jobscan be filled by foreign workers, the industry is wondering who will do thework, and how it will survive.Atlassian CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes estimates of his company’s Australian staff,at least 25 per cent would be on 457 visas. According to the IT ProfessionalsAssociation, in the past decade, the number of 457 visas for IT workers hasrisen by 136 per centThe government argues that changes need to be made so that workers aren’tbeing exploited and that Australians should be trained to qualify for thosejobs.But Mr McEvoy argues the tech industry’s dilemma proves that you can’t justattract homegrown, quality workers by throwing money at them. In some cases,the skills genuinely need to be imported.“The thing to understand about the growing of fast growth technology companyis it takes a very different skills set than the companies that exist alreadywithin the industry in Australia,” Mr McEvoy told“Some of these are skills that can’t really be taught, you only get themthrough experience. So the best way to learn is only by doing, and the onlypeople who have done these jobs, at the moment, are overseas.”The role that’s most in demand and that Aussie tech employers would currentlylook to fill by a worker on a 457 visa, is a product manager.“It’s basically the person who is the nexus between the engineering talent,the designers and the customer. They kind of put it all together to make itall work,” Mr McEvoy said describing the role. “It’s a very hard skill tolearn except by doing it, so that role would be filled by someone who has abackground engineer or design and who is quite senior.”A good product manager, depending on the company they work for and the scopeof their responsibility, could expect to earn $300,000 in the US Mr McEvoysaid, while an Australian company could potentially offer between $100,000 —$200,000 for the position.Senior engineers, software developers and growth marketing specialists arealso in high demand by Australian companies who can’t find local talent tofill the positions.Mr McEvoy said that while the industry expects to be able to employAustralians in the majority of its senior roles in the not too distancefuture, until those tech heads work their way through the education system andget the right experience, Aussie companies have no choice but to lookoffshore.“We fully agree there is a desperate need for more Australians to be trainedin STEM subjects,” he said, adding: “Any plans to cut back on the techindustry’s ability to bring in expertise from overseas before more Australianshave been adequately trained in IT will only harm the industry and the futureof jobs in this country.”In order for growing tech companies to be successful, and to keep Australiacompetitive in that space, he warns, they need to import talent.“I think the key message is not just for the industry but for the country.Other cities and countries are investing super heavily in this industry. If wedon’t work this out, we fall behind,” he said. “We either have a choice as acountry, or we wonder in 10 years time why we have no jobs at all.”

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