Deliver the National Quantum Collaboration Initiative and quantum technology talent PhD scholarships, to lay the foundations for a nation-wide model for academic collaboration.
Release a quantum workforce report, including modelling to identify workforce and educational needs for our quantum sector and adjacent industries. The report will include skills taxonomies for quantum professionals and other adjacent occupations.
Integrate quantum science into programs growing STEM awareness in schools, universities and VET, in collaboration with federal, state and territory education bodies. This will strengthen pathways and promote uptake into quantum and adjacent careers and will include initiatives to lift the participation of women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other underrepresented groups.
Explore measures to attract global quantum talent and position Australia as a top destination to build a thriving quantum career. This includes actively promoting Australia as a destination for professionals in quantum and adjacent industries, including through targeted incentives, skilled migration and talent attraction programs.
What we’ve heard
A strong and vibrant Australian quantum sector requires a skilled, diverse and growing workforce. The types of skills required will reach beyond physics into many different fields, including:
- electrical engineering
- software development and quantum algorithm research
- science communication
- cross-sectoral applications.
Meeting our current and future quantum skills needs requires a pipeline of talent from schools, through universities and vocational training and into industry. We need to develop and promote quantum career paths that make current workers and school students aware of the diverse and engaging opportunities in the industry.
We can capitalise on Australia’s established strengths to grow a local quantum ecosystem. Australia’s research excellence in universities and industry has established us as an international quantum leader. These researchers will be the cornerstone of our future quantum industry.
We have a long history of collaborating on research into social and economic priorities through Centres of Excellence. Our research strengths are in part due to decades of government funding in fundamental and applied quantum science.
Our quantum sector can significantly contribute to Australia’s future prosperity. The sector is forecast to generate over 16,000 jobs by 2040, and this number will grow with additional investment.
The Australian Government has a target of 1.2 million technology jobs by 2030, which will support the quantum industry’s requirements. But we need more than quantum experts – we need quantum‑literate businesses and workers across sectors, including manufacturing and engineering. We also need businesses that can identify and use new quantum applications.
Building a quantum talent pipeline is a long-term effort. We first need to assess our current, emerging and future quantum skills needs and consider how we can meet our short-, medium- and long-term skills gaps. In the short- to medium-term, we need to increase quantum literacy in schools and highlight quantum career opportunities to secondary students and other workers.
We also need to lift diversity and inclusion in the industry. This will:
- bring new ideas and insights
- reduce bias in the system
- ensure we’re reflecting the views of Australia’s diverse society
- be essential to reaching the government’s technology jobs target.
In the long term, we must inspire more children to choose STEM and quantum education and careers. Bringing quantum into the classroom and engaging children at an early age will encourage a new generation of students to pursue quantum and related careers.
Australian research institutes and quantum companies must compete with other countries for the best and brightest minds. Creating a thriving and trusted domestic ecosystem is essential for retaining Australia’s talent. We need to promote Australia as a destination for international talent and promote the key capabilities that will let local industries succeed.
These immediate actions address the challenges and opportunities identified in this strategy, by:
- promoting Australia as the world’s top destination for talent. This will address skills shortages that are a barrier to growth
- building a skilled, diverse and growing talent pipeline to support well-paying jobs, job growth and prosperity in quantum and related industries
- strengthening Australian’s sovereign capability
- cementing Australia’s status as a desirable location for quantum companies by capitalising on our local talent and research excellence.