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Demand for ICT jobs in Sydney and Melbourne is picking up, and the first quarter of this year is showing improved prospects for the national hiring market over 2013, prompting one national recruiter to express cautious optimism about the hiring market for the remainder of the year.

The General Manager of Sydney-based Finite IT, Duncan Thomson, says he is “quietly optimistic” that ICT hiring confidence is starting to bounce back.

“Following a challenging market in the second half of 2013, the first quarter of 2014 has bucked the trend and is starting to show improved prospects for the Australian ICT hiring market,” Thomson said.

According to Thomson, although January remained fairly subdued, the annual February “jobs bounce” did happen, with Finite identifying a 6% year-on-year increase in open positions. Thomson notes that 42% of these roles are for full-time permanent positions and 58% represent contract roles, roughly the same split as existed in November 13, “but the volumes have definitely increased.”

Thomson said that demand in the two main capital hubs of Sydney and Melbourne was picking up, along with a “fast re-emerging Canberra market, and a significant improvement in Brisbane following very subdued ICT hiring levels for the past two years.”

“Any growth in hiring activity flowing through to open roles for recruiters to fill is good news, albeit that a year on year uplift for one month alone cannot be relied upon as a trend,” Thomson cautions.

“Bearing in mind that Gartner has predicted that Australian IT spend will only grow by a modest 2.3% in 2014, roughly in line with inflation, we will have to wait and see how things pan out in the second quarter to identify if hiring momentum is really building up steam.”

Finite also reports that highest in-demand skills sets nationally are Programme & Project Managers, followed by Business/Systems Analysts, Developers/Programmers, specialist BI/Data Analytics Consultants and Network & System Administrators.

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Peter Dinham

 

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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