Gary Nissim is an English born Australian who takes pride in his industry; digital marketing. This is an area he has been working on for twenty years since leaving the university. Upon his arrival in Australia, he quickly learnt that that digital marketing was all about imports with little focus on nurturing of local talents. It was not a major issue for the industry at the time for several reasons. First the investment of media in digital channels was minimum. Then employees were not necessarily required to be highly skilled as they are now in order to drive results. There was free flow of 457 visas, one was almost guaranteed for citizenship and LAFHA was still available.
Even though times have changed, lack of focus in the growth of local talents has remained still. WPP, which is one of the largest media agency networks in Australia announced last year that well over 50 percent of all their clients in media investment are in digital marketing. According to LinkedIn, over sixty percent of the top twenty skills employers around the world look for skills related to digital marketing. Specializing in markets no longer enables skilled workforce from foreign countries to be in Australia by giving them a well laid route to permanent residency with the death of LAFHA.
According to Gary, he doesn’t quite understand how the industry has not changed, even though he believes it is dynamic, forward thinking and inventive. Under skilled digital marketers who have limited tenure have salaries that are unworkable but are at the same time ever increasing. Australia still has an appetite for imported foreign talent, which can’t stay and provide ongoing solutions. Efforts on growing local talent have furthermore been neglected. There are some companies and organizations that have of course gone against the grain but still the light has not completely shone upon the masses.
This is not an Australian problem only and it replicates itself from the U.S to the U.K, Korea through to Bangladesh and all over the world. In a test-based review by the digital marketing institute, only 38 percent of the respondents in the U.S, who are working in digital marketing, met the thresholds of a competent skill level. The U.K posted 37 percent. Studies on wider ‘Digital’ skills gap have been commissioned by the U.K and Europe Commission. Gary Nissim believes that he has the knowhow as well as the skills to fix the issue but local and national organizations need to be involved.