The acute skills shortage haunting the ICT industry has abated but is expected to return in the next few months, according to the latest figures from the Clarius Skills Index.
With data sourced from various government departments, the Index gauges labour supply and demand through a points system. A score of 100 indicates equal tension and anything greater than 105 on skills shortages is regarded as extreme. A score of 95-98 is considered moderate.
The Index showed that demand has dropped to a Balanced rate of 99.6, a half point drop from last quarter. This was down from a High rating of 104.0 a year ago. Despite job vacancies hitting the lowest point in five years, computing professionals still came in fifth on the list of top 10 occupations with the highest level of skills shortages.
The rate of job loss has also slowed in the last three months, a strong indication that the employment market has bottomed and could be set for an upturn before Christmas.
Nationally, there are signs that previously withheld projects are being mobilised. Besides NSW, all states have had an indication of confidence returning with increased demand for certain ICT roles particularly for business analysts. As the months roll on and the projects progress, more technical specialist roles will be up for grabs.
The NSW recruitment market has remained flat. A lack of business analyst job opportunities is a signal that projects in the state have yet to pick up.
While the rate of demand is stabilising, Candle ICT CEO, David Stewart, is expecting a sharp rise to throw ICT into unbalanced territory again.
“We are seeing an increase in demand in a number of areas,” he said. “This will outstrip supply again and we will probably see this within the next 6-9 months.”
Stewart conceded the skills shortage will remain uneven across the board.
“There probably still be an oversupply of business analysts and project managers but it will not be as bad as it once was,” he said. “But technical specialists are still hard to find.”