ICT contractor rates are rising, signalling what could be “a record year for contract workers", according to the latest findings from IT recruiter, Peoplebank.
The Intermedium Federal ICT Labour Index for January and February 2011 is already higher than figures for Jan/Feb 2010.
Preliminary data for March (1,024) is more than 20 per cent higher than the 863 level recorded in March 2010.
“Rising demand for skilled ICT workers is due to the commencement of a number of projects, including IT commitments outlined in the 2010 Budget, as well as separate projects that had been delayed due to the extended period of political uncertainty associated with the Federal election,” said Peoplebank CEO, Peter Acheson, in a statement.
“Those projects have now progressed to the point of implementation – and so we are seeing particularly strong demand for roles associated with project beginnings, such as for project managers and business analysts, as well as for specialists in web technologies,” Acheson said.
“As a result, there is now competition for contractors with in-demand skills. Several contract roles are beginning to enjoy pay rises – most notably for developer and tester roles, and for change managers whose rates have risen by around 30 per cent.”
The Gershon Review has also had a “moderate” role to play, the Index revealed, adding Federal Government agencies are currently in the final phase of initiatives to convert contract into permanent roles, in line with targets set out in the Gershon Review to reduce Government’s reliance on contract roles.
The overall strength of the Canberra market means contractors are better able to choose contract roles with increasing rates, or have the security of permanent public service employment.
“While there are some signs of a skills shortage – and signs that a shortage will become evident in 2011 – the immediate market has been buoyed by the return of interstate ICT contractors to the Canberra market,” he said.
“In short, the Canberra market is currently enjoying a great balance between supply and demand for skilled ICT workers.
"If demand continues as anticipated, I believe we’ll see further pay rises drawing more skilled workers to Canberra, boosting the local market and lifting the Federal Government’s overall ICT capacity,” Acheson said.