The Federal Government has reinforced its aim to slash the number of IT contractors it employs while boosting the number of permanent IT staff.
According to the Whole of Government ICT strategic workforce plan 2010-2013, one in five Australian public service (APS) IT employees are contractors, many of whom are employed in development and programming roles.
“A major challenge for APS agencies will be balancing supply and demand to ensure they have a dynamic, flexible and effective ICT workforce for the future,” the report said. “The expected continued growth in the need for skilled ICT employees will be driven, in part, by projects such as the National Broadband Network rollout, the emerging trend for citizens to deal with government online, and the reduction in contractor numbers.
“A primary measure of success of the workforce plan will be the reduction in the total number of ICT contractors across the APS and an increase in the number of skilled APS ICT staff.”
The Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner, said the document was a result of the Gershon Review.
“[The Government’s IT] workforce needs to be sufficiently skilled and mobile to apply the new technologies that will deliver improved services to Australians,” Tanner said in a statement. “This workforce plan and career structure goes a long way to achieving that.”
The move is a reiteration of the Gershon Review despite the fact it was seen by many industry experts as a major cause of job losses in Canberra.
The Gershon Review labelled the Government’s ICT management as weak and recommended budget cuts of up to 15 per cent.