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Wednesday, 07 October 2009 14:04

Greater reliance on temporary, contract workers in ICT industry

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There’s an increased reliance by employers in the ICT industry on temporary or contract workers as Australian businesses start to recover from the economic downturn but still grapple with measures taken to reduce overheads in the downturn.

According to the latest update on the ICT employment market by ICT recruitment firm, Finite, the ICT contracting market is continuing to hold up well with further quarter on quarter gains being recorded across other states, and particularly strong in Sydney, Canberra and Perth.
 
Finite’s managing director, Tracy Thomson, says demand, however, is not consistent across all sectors with banking and finance, telcos and the resources sectors leading the way,  but “both State and Federal Government sectors are still patchy with further rounds of budget reviews, hiring freezes and restructuring still heavily impacting demand.”

“With the Australian economy emerging from recovery mode, hiring intent is still grappling with the various measures taken to reduce overheads in the downturn, including the shelving of new ICT projects, the introduction of reduced working hours and increased reliance on temporary workers / contractors to keep things moving in the interim,” Thomson said.

“Notably, Finite is now experiencing a marked change since the start of the new financial year, with a sharp spike in demand for permanent IT workers again.  This is most noticeable in the Sydney market where new perm hires are up 47 percent this quarter compared with the final quarter of 08/09 financial year, and the increase in demand is also evident in ACT, QLD and WA.”

According to Thomson, “there are lots of good things happening in the Australia ICT market again, the biggest problem that clients are currently facing is the shortage of good quality experienced personnel.  We are finding that there is resource available in most skill sets but not with the 5 years+ experience sought after, nor with high level security clearance, as required by many Federal Government clients.”

Thomson also says that the tighter Australian sponsorship criteria is also making it more difficult to bring in international experienced ICT specialists to fill these gaps, particularly since the US and UK markets are “still depressed and current availability of top candidates high.”


Finite reports that hard-to-find skill sets around Australia include, among others, application project managers, Siebel specialists, senior Java developers, Oracle payroll / HR consultants in New South Wales; solution architects, all SAP professionals, business analysts and data warehousing specialists in Victoria; and, in Queensland sharepoint developers /architects, security architects, datastage developers, SAP BI/BW developers, all SAP professionals and Java developers.

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