Fightback 09: The promise of employment

Fightback 09: The promise of employment

Recruitment plans outweigh job cuts for a change

Unemployment is tipped to skyrocket this year, but for a change this week there were more new jobs announced in the Australian IT industry than cut, kicking the ugly ‘U’ word to the curb for the time being.

With the national broadband network (NBN) bombshell dropped on Tuesday by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – ending the tender cliffhanger by terminating all bids and announcing the Government will build the $43 billion wholesale-only network itself – came the promise of 25,000 new jobs.

While the reinvented NBN project, which is expected to span 7-8 years and add $37 billion to GDP, has yet to be fleshed out with necessary detail, leaving it open to serious question, the fact so many jobs are planned is a sunny plus for the industry.

In a much smaller, but also welcome announcement, CSG (ASX: CSV) said it would expand further into South Australia, creating 100 openings for a new facility.

CSG enterprise and managed services state manager, John Driscoll, said the service provider had a strong presence in SA through arrangements with BHP Billiton Olympic Dam and Mitsubish Motors Australia, and the new staff would come on-board over the next 24 months at a Norwood office.

Internet service provider (ISP), Internode, also revealed plans to recruit 50 new staff, bringing the ISP’s headcount to about 400.

Internode CEO, Pat Tapper, highlighted the need to meet customer demands for the recruitment.

“We have been growing for the past five years at roughly 30 per cent per annum,” he said. “Even with a slow down of the broadband market in general, the demand for our services hasn’t abated and we see this continuing onto the next financial year.”

On the individual appointment level, IronPort’s former manager, John Martens, has been snapped up by US-based on-demand security service provider, Zscaler. Martens will be heading up its new Melbourne office.

And another US-based company, Palo Alto Networks, also appointed a new country manager, David Thrum. In addition to the hire, the firewall vendor is also on the hunt for two distributors in the Australian Market.

While a flood of jobs in the market is good news, some companies were more focused on partnership programs.

WebCentral, key brand of Melbourne IT Group (ASX: MLB), has unveiled its MiCloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) partner program to cater to market growth.

The program will facilitate independent software vendors (ISVs) to make and promote SaaS-type solutions through WebCentral’s market place.

Last but not least, Interactive Intelligence opened a new training centre to further channel support and target key verticals. The North Sydney training facility will provide two-week courses from May and means partners no longer have to travel overseas to acquire certification.

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