Index forsees skills shortage storm

Index forsees skills shortage storm

Changes in the 457 visa and the NBN will take the skills shortage beyond what the industry experienced pre-GFC, according to Candle ICT

Australia is headed for a deep IT skills shortage, according to the latest Clarius Skills Index.

The Index measures underlying demand and supply of skilled labour and edged upwards to record 100.6 in March, an increase from 99.6 in December. A score of 100 indicates equal tension between labour supply and demand.

According to Candle ICT COO, Kym Quick, Australia has again dipped into a skills shortage.

“We never had a full release of the skills shortage pressure through the global financial crisis,” she said. “While it’s not quite as bad as it has been, it is heading there and I expect it will get worse.”

Changes to the 457 Visa by the Government a year ago were part of the deepening skills shortage, Quick claimed. The National Broadband Network (NBN) will create a further need for skills, requiring overseas talent, she added. According to Government estimates, the NBN is expected to support up to 37,000 jobs at its peak, with a large portion in IT.

“The changes to the 457 Visa brought in a number of restricting changes that have made bringing in overseas talent an onerous process,” Quick said. “As part of it, you need to commit a certain amount of payroll to things like training, and it’s quite a significant number.

“Some companies have gone through the process, but in many cases it’s simply not worth your while.”

Other areas of technology skill shortages expected this year will be in ERP, development, telecommunications and integration.

To read more about the skills shortage agenda, and reactions in the channel, take a look at ARN’s in-depth report in our April 21 issue.

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Tags skills shortageNBNClarius Skills IndexCandle ICT457 visa

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