Australia’s defence sector is undergoing a transformative technological upgrade, as the nation bolsters its infrastructure capabilities within the fast evolving global digital sphere.
The Federal Government has invested $1.7 billion to ramp up Australia’s digital defences and capabilities through the nation’s Cyber Security Strategy. This includes $1.4 billion over the next 10 years, to bolster the cyber security capabilities and assistance provided to Australians through the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
As a result ICT workers are in strong demand from both government and defence industry organisations - all working quickly to build out this critical new technological infrastructure. Skills in particular demand are in the areas of software, cyber security, data and cloud technologies.
Defence in the clouds
One of the nation’s major new initiatives is the large-scale process of shifting its information systems across to cloud technologies.
Once the transformation has been achieved the sensitive nature of the information living in the cloud will need to be protected. This is driving the current demand for cyber security specialists. Canberra is the hub of this activity and as a result, considerable efforts are being made to attract skilled candidates to the nation’s capital.
Kinexus’ recently published Hiring Intentions and Workforce Report showed that cyber professionals are employed across a variety of industries including IT & Services, Network Security and Telecommunications, alongside Defence. However, it should be noted that cyber professionals that work within defence industry may have chosen to identify as working in one of those broader technology sectors.
The distribution of professionals with cyber skills by state is shown in the below map.
ICT skills shortages
Attracting skilled workers to Canberra is easier said than done. With defence related ICT workers in high demand, companies are now looking towards adjacent industries to secure top talent. Unfortunately, that transition can sometimes be stymied by the need for new defence industry workers to have security clearances.
This is particularly true in the contracting space, which is especially prevalent within the ICT workforce. For some employers, hiring a worker in a permanent capacity means there is more flexibility around considering uncleared candidates and obtaining a clearance after the hiring process.
Overall, the security clearance process can be streamlined and optimised with the correct advice and expertise on hand. Kinexus is available to identify potential opportunities to obtain a clearance, and supports the clearance process whilst underway.
Work with purpose
While the defence industry hasn’t traditionally been the most sought-after industry for top ICT professionals, the high-profile development of new cyber security frameworks to protect the nation’s sovereignty is shifting perspectives among expert workers from various backgrounds.
While remuneration in the defence industry may not always be comparable to other industries, the financial sector for example, there are increasing numbers of top talent being attracted to the purpose driven nature of these roles.
Within Canberra itself, a growing number of established ICT government workers are seeking to move into the defence industry, as the buzz about the impact and influence of these nation-defining projects grows.
These transformative technological upgrades will be a major foundation of Australia’s prosperity and security into the future, so it’s vital the defence industry attracts the talent needed to deliver results.
Kinexus has a dedicated team of ICT specialists who work with government and defence industry organisations to provide highly skilled, security cleared ICT talent. Specialists in their field, these staff members are embedded in the ICT industry and have unique insight into trends impacting the workforce.
If you’re looking for work, review current vacancies on our website here.