Workforce Planning – here in WA when things start to heat up (both literally – since it is summer; and metaphorically – since the resources sector is coming back on the boil) becomes a major issue. If you are a resources company (or strongly tied to them) then there is considerable upward pressure on salaries and a degree of ‘churn’. For the rest of us it is time to try and hold onto our existing staff and to attempt to source suitable new employees that seem to have ever increasing salary expectations and seemingly ever decreasing skills and qualifications…
These were some of the issues that were covered at the recent CEDA Inventing the Future – Human Capital event I attended. One area that is closer to my industry’s home is the Heavy Challenges that the ICT industry faces in the coming years with attracting and retaining the ‘cream of the crop’ to help improve and expand our skills within the Knowledge Economy. In Len Rust’s comments about the challenges that we face it is vital to realise the increasing gap between those we are training up and those that are retiring within the ICT sector:
“A key element of our ecosystem is idea-generation. Game-changing ideas tend to arise out of basic research that pushes the boundaries of human knowledge. Universities and colleges are critical players here, because basic research dovetails with their educational missions.
We also need to look further into the future and to understand the need for engineers, scientists, and technologically skilled professionals and our failure to produce them. Our colleges and universities are not graduating enough students to take the place of those who are now retiring.”
This is a potentially critical issue that has to be faced both here in WA and in Australia as a whole. While Colin Barnett has been spruiking WA in Singapore it has been focused around our infrastructure projects etc. Realistically to adopt the Knowledge Economy here in WA we need to be competing with Singapore as a centre of ICT innovation and education.
Now is the time to start changing the narrative about our economy here in WA to be more inclusive:
Resources Economy and Knowledge Economy…
Firstly we have to find a sitting minister here in WA that gets ICT… any ideas who?
Have a look at the coordinated protests about reduced funding for science in the UK for an example of what we are missing out on…