Demand for ICT labour at an all-time high

Demand for ICT labour at an all-time high

CIOs putting projects on hold

New figures released today show demand for ICT labour skills in the Australian market is at an all-time high rising 19 percent since the start of the financial year and recording a 10 per cent increase over November 2006 figures.

Best International's monthly ICT Talent Index, launched today, shows the five week period from January 1, 2007 to February 6, 2007, had the highest number of jobs ever recorded for IT skills in Australia with permanent roles up 12 percent and contract roles increasing eight percent.

The results confirm CIO Executive Council claims that Australia's largest organizations are being forced to put IT projects on hold as a result of a worsening skills shortage.

The council's executive director, Con Colovos, said there has been unprecedented demand to support new projects.

"CIOs are struggling to find the right level of IT resources to implement new projects and upgrade infrastructure," he said.

"Unfortunately everyone is starting to experience the shortage of resources throughout the IT industry and the fact that many of these projects are being put on hold until the appropriate resources are found is a real concern.

"A lot of CIOs I am talking to are likening the current surge and demand for resources to the days of the late 1990s when organisations could not keep up with demand.

"However, in those days there was labour to source whereas today we are literally struggling to find resources of any kind; as a result salaries are going through the roof."

Organizations affiliated with the council are also struggling to source resources including universities, the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA), and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Best International director John McVicker expects record demand to continue for the rest of the year as companies gear up for a number of large IT projects nationally.

"Although this heralds excellent news for the Australian IT industry, the increased demand coupled with the limited available IT talent means candidate shortages may be problematic for the IT sector," McVicker said.

"The ICT labour landscape has shifted from a war for talent to a war for resources and organizations need to be prepared.

"The solution to this growing problem is three fold; create a workplace that encourages IT-skilled people to work for longer, make the IT industry more attractive to Generation Y and skilled workers from other industries by offering greater flexibility, and capitalize on overseas talent."

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