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Value of mature workers to IT industry

Published 11th August 2015

The IT industry continues to grow at lightning pace, as a result of advancing technology and businesses moving important data and information onto digital platforms.

However, for all the benefits of this trend, Australia – and indeed the world – are seeing significant skill shortages.

According to Australia’s Digital Pulse, a report released by Deloitte and the Australian Computer Society, digital technologies now make up 5.1 per cent of the country’s GDP. With more than 600,000 ICT workers already employed across the industry, the report noted that Australia needs at least another 100,000 over the coming six years. 

Based on ICT qualification numbers, this isn’t happening, and it has the potential to put future pressure on the country’s IT contractors. So, what is the solution?

Golden Age Index

In late June, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) issued its Golden Age Index. Based on analysis from the 34 OECD countries, it found there was real value in industries using mature-age workers. However, this was one area where Australia as a country lacked – ranking 15th out of 34.

Despite the five?-place improvement from 2014, Australia ranked behind high flyers Iceland, New Zealand, Sweden, Israel and Norway. Even the US, Korea, Japan and Estonia outgunned Australia.

PwC Global People Business leader Jon Williams explained that mature-age workers don’t actually block the path for younger workers. In fact, he noted that it generates more demand and opportunities in the economy.

“However we need to change our social bias toward older workers to allow this to happen. We are stuck in a cradle-to-grave model of career progression with a stigma towards changing careers and taking a step back,” Mr Williams stated.

“Businesses who make better use of the skills and experience of older workers gain a real competitive advantage at a time when their customer bases are also ageing.”

Mature IT contractor support

One of the main reasons why mature workers don’t always change careers or take on contracting opportunities is the fear of failure. With a family to support, mortgage to pay and a retirement to plan, taking this leap of faith is often a step too far for many.

At Oncore Services, we understand the stresses and pains of IT contracting. As such, we have developed a number of services for contractors of all ages to have access to. From savings, wealth management, superannuation and career mobility, Oncore Services is in a great position to ensure your contracting career is as successful as possible.