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Australians facing a digital skills shortage after COVID changed the way we work

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Most Australian workers will need to learn more digital skills if they want to keep up with job changes brought on by COVID-19 but only a third of companies have the required training in place.

According to research by Amazon Web Services, 81 per cent of Australian workers said they need more digital skills training to be able to cope with changes to their job during the pandemic.

The study found that 3.7 million workers will require more digital skills and that only 30 per cent of organisations have the necessary training programs in place.

The Building Digital Skills for the Changing Workforce report says skills like using cloud-based tools, cloud-based communication software, accounting software, customer relationship management software and cybersecurity skills are projected to be the most in-demand requirements by employers in Australia by 2025.

The report’s findings show 62 per cent of Australian workers say they will need to be trained in cloud-related skills by 2025 to be able to move forward in their careers.

“While the need for digital skills has been growing for years, this research shows that job changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the need for more training for both tech and non-tech workers on digital capabilities in Australia,” says Genevieve Lim, Director for Asia Pacific, AlphaBeta (part of Access Partnership).

“Organisations have accelerated their digitisation process to cope with the pandemic and ensure their long-term competitiveness.

“Transitioning into a digital-first economy will help countries’ recovery from COVID-19 and secure a stronger economic future.

“There is an urgent need for governments to work together with employers, training providers, and workers to meet these diverse and growing digital learning needs.”

AWS works with customers and partner organisations upskill their workforces.

The AWS Skills Guild is a program that offers a range of cloud skills, and which has been utilised by numerous companies including Telstra and Deloitte.

“Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen organisations of all sizes accelerate their digital transformation plans by several years, driving an increased need for employers and their workers to advance skills training for cloud computing, cybersecurity, and machine learning,” said Iain Rouse, Director and Country Leader for AWS Public Sector in Australia and New Zealand.

“The Building Digital Skills for the Changing Workforce report shows an urgency for workers and employers to increase digital skills knowledge and maximise the benefits of technology to individuals and organisations.

“AWS is committed to collaborating with industry and government in Australia to address the digital skills shortage and stay ahead of the training curve.”