START/UP Week: Activating Adelaide to attract talent

Last updated 16 Nov, 2022

Attracting, supporting and retaining talent in the tech field needs to play a key role in growing the state’s startup ecosystem, business leaders say.

Speakers at START/UP Week’s Activating Adelaide event, run in partnership with the Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA), said talent is required to activate the city and power the growth of startups in South Australia.

Stone & Chalk Adelaide General Manager Chris Kirk, 11point2’s Mark Ogden and Varshini Ravichandran, the Department of Premier and Cabinet Population Strategy Director Kayla Johnson and Peta St Clair from the Committee for Adelaide were all part of the event.

START/UP Week is powered by AEDA through its Strategic Partnerships Program, which aims to grow the city’s economy, enhance Adelaide’s brand and contribute to a dynamic city experience.

Mr Ogden said among the biggest challenges businesses face is keeping talent in South Australia.

He said employers need to support long-term career pathways, so when workers fall out of love with their job, the family still remains in love with South Australia and stays in the state.

“What is the career pathway for the individual to keep them in SA beyond the one role,” Mr Ogden said.

“Founders and supporters (need to) get organised and make it easy for the talent. Make it easy for the talent to navigate and join the ecosystem when they arrive in Adelaide.

“Adelaide has many of the ingredients we need, how do we utilise them as best as possible.”

Activating Adelaide workshop

According to AEDA data, there were 480,500 more job vacancies in comparison to the 473,600 unemployed individuals across Australia, creating unprecedented levels of recruitment difficulty across industry sectors.

Data showed job vacancies hit a record 40-year high — more than double pre-pandemic levels.

Committee for Adelaide General Manager Peta St Clair said South Australia had to be “bigger, bolder and better”, as well as think more global.

She said the startup community had to be connected with likeminded people to thrive.

“(The) key purpose is to connect and bring people together who have recently moved to SA, whether they are an arrow (visiting for the first time) or boomerang (returning home),” Ms St Clair said.

“How do we create a better and more enhanced welcome to (the) Adelaide experience — where to go and how to meet and connect with.”

_SOUTHSTART is hosting START/UP Week and includes 23 events that explore topics such as e-commerce, investment and accelerating commercialisation.

The calendar of events is a combination of conversations, launches, meets, masterclasses, dinners, hikes and more, with START/UP Week aiming to inspire, provoke debate and shine a light on the future of technology, collaboration and innovation in Adelaide.

Learn more about the Strategic Partnerships Program here, and to buy tickers to Startup Week, click here.

AEDA's Strategic Partnerships Program assists Startup Week

START/UP Week starts up across the city