The ACS survey included large enterprises and 48% of companies that responded to the survey had annual revenues of more than $250 million.
According to the ACS, the survey revealed that the amount of time that employers give their staff to upgrade their skills is alarmingly low and well below what the ACS considers to be acceptable. CIOs surveyed said they believed their staff should receive five to 10 days a year of training, while the ACS considers twenty days a year should be set aside. The survey, however, showed the actual number of days that staff receive training is between one and five days.
The ACS believes, workers are not being given training in key areas such as soft skills and new technical developments, as well as non-ICT areassuch as general business training, communication and presentation skills, and dispute resolution.
According to the ACS, the survey results highlight the urgent need for Australia's ICT industry to address a potential skills shortage in the workplace amidst increasing pressure to develop new skills, boost innovation and close the gap between the needs of ICT and business.
'The pace of technological change is so fast these days that organisations need to make a substantial commitment to boosting and refreshing the skills base of their ICT workers, or face a drastic fall in the quality of their technical workforce,'' said ACS President Edward Mandla. 'Companies are simply not devoting enough time to up-skill their professional ICT staff, and if they don't do so, their staff should take steps to develop their own skills base.
"ICT professionals often work on long projects of up to five years and when the initiative is completed and they move on to another project, they find the market has moved on. We also found that the quality of training courses was questionable, which underpins the need for ICT workers to actively seek out quality programs and seminars in order to make progress."
According to the ACS, in the next few years, ICT professionals should seek to undertake more training in the areas of security, database management, network management, storage, wireless networks, wide area networks and business intelligence.