- Thursday 11 August 2016
Vibrant, green, diverse and technology focused – those are but a few of the Sunshine Coast’s characteristics creating an increase in technology and information and communications technology (ICT) based employment.
Talent Vine Managing Director Justin Falk said the Coast was experiencing a definite spike in demand for technology roles.
“Talent Vine connects employers to a selection of more than 100 of Australia’s top recruiters and we’re seeing plenty of technology and ICT roles on the Sunshine Coast opening up. For a regional centre there are some fantastic products and services that are coming out of this region,” he said.
“So we have assisted in the recruitment of around 30 highly skilled people from other parts of Australia to relocate to the Sunshine Coast to fill technology-based jobs. Every business needs to go in the digital direction and be automated if they want to compete on an international scale so and so there’s an increasing demand for people with the skills who can help to make this happen.”
The Sunshine Coast was recently ranked highest in Queensland for online business growth and Google AdWords and was celebrated as one of the world’s Smart21 communities in 2014 and 2015 with a focus on innovation culture and leadership.
Mr Falk said our region’s highly supportive community was a key to the increase in technology-based employment.
“A key reason why demand for technology based roles on the Sunshine Coast is rising is due to the success of local companies with a digital focus like Nano-Nauvelle, Youi, Tilsta, iComplii, Retail Express, Veeroll, SchoolZine, Search365, Ipug, Optii and Food Matters,” he said.
“I had a corporate job in Sydney and was getting ‘Talent Vine’ set up and I was feeling my way in the dark for the first couple of months in Sydney not really sure who to ask for advice and when you're not earning money the expenses of living somewhere like Sydney are astronomical.
“I came to the Sunshine Coast to visit a friend for what was meant to be three weeks just to live on his couch and get away from the distractions in Sydney and write business plans and templates.
“As soon as I arrived on the Sunshine Coast I was blown away by how supportive everyone was and people went out of their way to introduce me to people who introduced me to mentors and my first clients and they in turn introduced me to investors and so people had this genuine interest in helping you do well for the greater good.
“So within a matter of weeks I made the decision to pack up my whole life in Sydney and move here and I know there's absolutely no way I would've survived that first year in business if it wasn’t for the incredible support of everyone here.
“It’s hard enough starting up a business so when you can do it somewhere that's far more affordable to live than most places and also one of the most beautiful places in the world it just makes complete sense and I want the whole world to know that they should make the move to the Sunshine Coast as well!”
“Sunshine Coast and council is doing pretty well in terms of encouraging and nurturing digital talent here by supporting the likes of Coder Dojo and Start-up Weekend and Start-up Weekend Youth, the Mayor’s Telstra technology Awards and so many different incubators which are starting up.
“There are currently 22,000 Australians living and working in Silicon Valley in the USA due to the larger salaries over there. So when you look at how much is going on in this region per capita I think it's very good but within our universities there needs to be a real push that digital is the future.
“If there is more incentive for people at university to go this route and state and federal governments doing more to support small businesses so we can pay the type of salaries we see overseas that will keep the top talent here and create a snowball effect to help us compete on a national and international stage.”
Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said council aimed to nurture and support current and future generations of digital entrepreneurs.
“Knowledge and Professional Services is one of seven high value industries that are keys to future employment and economic prosperity on the Sunshine Coast under the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033,” Cr Robinson said.
“Council is very pleased to support initiatives like Start-up Weekend, Hackfest and the Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards because they encourage our bright sparks and outside the box thinkers to emerge.
“The University of Sunshine Coast, the Innovation Centre and Spark Bureau all support this growing industry sector within our region and IT services, games and smartphone application development, architecture and design are all experiencing high growth.
“Our region is already home to a wide range of businesses that can be considered leaders in their field. We are well supported by a strong entrepreneurial, collaborative and digitally-orientated ecosystem and there is an increasing emphasis on investment in and support of digital work hubs to accelerate growth in professional and knowledge industry workers across the region.”
“An even more diverse range of creative, knowledge, digital, technology and professional services are set to grow on the Sunshine Coast in the future as a result of major capital projects like the undersea cable project, the solar farm and the Smart City development at Maroochydore.
Key Facts about the Knowledge and Professional Services Industry on the Sunshine Coast:
- Deploying Australia’s first fully-integrated Smart City Framework
- Ranked highest in Queensland for online business growth
- High speed broadband available across the region
- Strong and supportive business community
- Commercial office accommodation leasing costs up to 58% lower than Brisbane CBD
- Award winning Innovation Centre and Spark Bureau incubator to help start-up businesses
Popular gateway initiatives and programs to the technology industry on the Sunshine Coast include:
- CoderDojo - www.sunshinecoast.coderdojo.com.au/
- Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast 29th April – 1st May - www.up.co/communities/australia/sunshine-coast/startup-weekend/8594
- Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast Youth (August) - www.startupscyouth.com
- Silicon Coast - Facebook group with 710 members www.fb.com/groups/siliconcoast/
- Generation Innovation – www.generationinnovation.com.au
- Coding from the Beach - www.meetup.com/coding-from-beach