Australian Information Industry Association


Engaging young people in ICT in TAFE NSW-Research eReport

The ITELG Industry Liaison Unit for Information Technology, Education Library and Government has just released this research report on: Engaging young people in information and communications technology training in TAFE NSW Digital disruption is globally influencing how people live, consume and work.

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry is growing and evolving rapidly and demand for ICT workers in Australia is forecast to increase by approximately 70,000 workers by the year 2020.  Conversely, participation in ICT programs in NSW high schools and in TAFE NSW indicates a declining trend.

The TAFE NSW Industry Liaison Unit, who directs activity relevant to ICT curriculum, conducted this research to understand why TAFE NSW ICT enrolments are not mirroring the prediction of significant growth in the ICT industry.  The research focuses on ICT and examines key influences on young peoples’ career aspirations, existing approaches to providing ICT career guidance and advice, what attracts young people into the ICT field, and why they choose ICT training delivered by TAFE NSW.  The research focuses on how to support young people to make fully informed vocational choices, which include considering a career in ICT.

The research highlights:

  • the need to raise awareness of digital disruption and the impact of emerging technologies on the future workforce across every industry
  • the importance of highlighting technological change as part of all high school students’ career exploration, not just to students studying ICT.  The renewed national focus on STEM education in schools and preparation for future STEM career as a welcome development
  • significant gaps which exist in current career advice and guidance to adequately address the rapid changes in the ICT field
  • the significance of strengthening strategies to improve the quality and provision of ICT career advice to all young people.

Key messages promoted by the research include:

  • developing contemporary ICT industry specific career advice, which emphasise the pervasiveness of technology across every industry
  • targeting career information to Generation Zed, the 15-24 year market, but which also include their parents’ who exert significant influence on young peoples’ career aspirations
  • strengthening critical partnerships between TAFE NSW and key education and industry stakeholders to improve coordinated career information and activity
  • fostering computational thinking, innovation and entrepreneurial skills to provide the best advantage to support young people’s success in the ICT industry.

The TAFE NSW ITELG Industry Liaison Unit wishes to acknowledge the significant contribution to the research, and to sincerely thank TAFE NSW and NSW high school staff and students who gave generously of their time, shared experiences and provided insights which contributed to the richness of the research outcomes.

If you would like to discuss the research, or require additional copies of the report kindly contact me on 02) 9715 8037 or email or Bronnie Campbell on 02) 9715 8033 or

Click here to download the report