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Tuesday, 18 May 2010 08:22

Canberra contracts for contractors

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Where have all the contractors gone? Gone to Sydney every one - or at least that's how it might seem for agencies looking to hire short term IT personnel.

The double whammy of the Gershon Review, which called for agencies to reduce their reliance on contractors, coupled with the GFC sent the Canberra contracting market off the boil. Positions dried up, salaries fell and the lure of Sydney and Melbourne increased.

According to Jeff Knowles, acting ceo of recruitment firm Peoplebank the early signs of a contracting skills shortage are emerging in the ACT. The company has today unveiled its Intermedium Federal ICT Labour hire Index which shows that over the last 12 months the number of contractors hired by the Federal government has slumped by between 20 and 25 per cent.

Knowles said similar findings had been revealed by a report published by the IT Contract & Recruitment Association (ITCRA). According to a report in the AFR that survey found that the reduction in the contractor market will cost recruitment firms active in that market $295 million as demand dries and rates drop.

ITCRA has not, at time of writing, responded to iTWire's requests for further information about the report.

'Three years ago Canberra had the highest rates in the country,' said Knowles, adding that this had encouraged people to relocate to the ACT. 'The challenge that the ACT and Federal government will have is that the IT market is picking up all over the country and we're seeing an increase in demand in the ACT.

'There will be some shortages because there are not many people coming (to work in Canberra)' said Knowles. The company is already noting shortages in key skills such as J2EE, Java, Sharepoint, .Net , project management and business analysis, and rates for roles in these areas have already increased marginally.




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