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Monday, 14 December 2015 15:13

Merry Xmas: Employment prospects for ICT execs look brighter Featured

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Merry Xmas: Employment prospects for ICT execs look brighter Image courtesy of vectorolie, freedigitalphotos.net/images

The year ahead is looking promising for ICT executives on the market for a new job or looking to reboot their career, with the latest executive demand index showing the sector has significantly reversed previous declines in demand.

According to the EL Consult Index, demand for ICT executives rose 19% last month (Nov.) compared with October – a significant bounce from its low point in June this year.

Across all business and industry sectors the overall result was good, with EL saying there may be a “Christmas rally” in the level of demand for Australian executives.

After registering a significant fall October, the Executive Demand Index across all sectors rose 12% in November.

In the ICT sector, EL Managing Director Grant Montgomery, said the ICT index has regained the recent highs previously set in March and the relative outlier result of August 2014.

The majority of the gains in ICT came in Queensland and Victoria, closely followed by New South Wales.

“Information Technology has bounced back from its losses off a small base. Companies are looking for efficiency dividends, particularly through the use of internet apps and associated B2C software.”

Montgomery observes that there tends to be a “saw tooth result” of demand for IT executives, mostly because of the project nature of much of the investment.

According to Montgomery, companies will invest in IT people as they plan and then execute new strategies. “If all goes well and the IT investment delivers the planned savings this should result in a decline in the need for IT professionals until the next upgrade,” he says.

On the rise of 12% across all sectors, Montgomery says said the rise is a good indicator for the coming year.

“It is difficult to predict the future but the market is sufficiently buoyant that a base line has been found.

“Australian executives may well see a Christmas rally in job availabilities. Anecdotal evidence has it that the market and the economy is slowly picking up.

“But, we are a long way from our peak. We are not growing like a few years ago but it’s getting better.

“The Reserve Bank’s benign commentary is keeping confidence simmering along. It is extremely dovish at the moment while it waits for the US to hike interest rates, allowing our dollar to fall and make Australian producers more internationally competitive.

“For example, in the notes from its latest meeting the Reserve Bank board said the global economy was expanding at a ‘moderate’ pace, the volatility in financial markets had ‘abated’. The level of employment growth is ‘stronger’ and a low level of inflation.

“If we do get a Christmas rally, then Glenn Stevens, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, would have to be labelled one of the helper Christmas elves,” Montgomery said.

The EL index shows that across the various market sectors, engineering bounced back from its recent losses to record the largest gain, thanks largely to improvements in print-based advertising.

“Engineering has had a significant movement, taking back all of its losses of the previous month and then moving ahead,” Montgomery said.

“Engineering demand does tend to be lumpier due to the cyclical nature of the construction industry.

“For example, in the WestConnex road project in Sydney there has been a boost in employment of engineers now during planning and there will be a lull from then on until construction starts.

The strength of engineering now is entirely due infrastructure and housing construction and it is very unlikely with commodity prices continuing to fall that there will be further capital investment in the resources sector for some years to come.

“Overall, Australia’s growth rate remains stable so there is no reason for a significant change in demand. However, the tentative signs are that we are in for a good start to 2016.

“Among the states and territories, Victoria managed the best result out of the larger states, followed by New South Wales. Only the Northern Territory recorded a retraction due to losses in its Management sector.”

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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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