“In my experience, one of the biggest pain points in growing a startup is in hiring and recruitment, which stems from issues in education. There are not very many students studying courses which teach them how to code. Those that do, and are good, get snapped up very quickly by the highest bidder (often a Silicon Valley behemoth). Encouraging more students to study technology related degrees is a good idea for many reasons. Making the local job market more enticing for these students, and especially the job market within growing startups, is a great way to get them actively involved in innovation from the day they finish uni, and a great way to teach them the skills they need (on technical, communication, and business levels) to start their own venture next.
The recent changes to ESOP laws were a step in the right direction. But share options don't put food on the table for new graduates, and giving out options in lieu of salary isn't a good idea for every startup. The ESOP changes applied specifically to private companies below a certain age and revenue threshold. These are the startups that are actively creating jobs, so it makes sense to help them where we can.
The QLD government is launching a program to help startups hire graduates to work on specific projects - http://advanceqld.initiatives.qld.gov.au/funding/knowledge-transfer-partnerships.aspx. It could be improved by focusing on less on research projects and more on outcomes that can be commercialised. The tricky aspect is making sure government doesn't fall into the trap of "picking winners" but instead focuses on helping all startups which have reached a certain level of market validation to grow engineering teams and attract the best talent. I think some form of financial incentive for technical graduates who start their careers at startups would be a significant boost to the startup's ability to recruit top talent, and for new graduates to get actively involved in the innovation ecosystem. Call it the Australian Startup Signing Bonus, and make it, say, $10,000 if they stay with the startup for 6 months.”