Malcolm Turnbull could be about to find out how tough it is to hire tech pros in Australia

Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull during House of Representatives question time at Parliament House. Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty.

Fresh from catching a train to a recruitment drive launch for the Digital Transformation Office, federal communications minister Malcolm Turnbull announced he was looking for 20 developers, designers and product managers.

Tasked with bringing the government into the 21st century, the DTO is attempting to ensure all public services can be delivered online.

“This is an exciting initiative but it’s also complex and requires significant cultural change,” Turnbull said.

“Government services don’t face competition in the traditional sense but that doesn’t mean they should be immune from the disruptive technologies that are having an impact right across the economy.

“The DTO needs to adopt an agile, startup-like culture so it’s important that we recruit people with the right mix of skills and attitude to speed up the transformation of government services.”

But attempting to hire developers and designers is one of the big issues the tech sector regularly screams about, saying there’s a massive skills shortage and many talented execs are leaving to take up international opportunities.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes recently told Business Insider the biggest challenge he sees for the domestic tech industry is talent.

“I think the biggest problem, is talent. In the long term, it’s how do we keep it, how do we grow it and how do we import it?

“Realistically, in the short term, it’s importing it and in the long term, it’s about growing it. It’s about more people doing technology degrees.”

The DTO is looking at locating a small part of its team at the University of Technology Sydney.

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