Monday, 27 July 2009 03:30

Demand for ICT professionals on the rise, bottom is in

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The bottom in ICT employment has been reached and demand for skilled jobs is once again on the rise, according to the latest market survey from a major technology recruiter. The news adds to a growing list of evidence of a return to health of the ICT jobs scene.

{loadposition stan}Last week iTWire reported that contractor demand is now on the rise according to the latest quarterly IT&T salary index from Australia's largest recruitment firm Peoplebank.

Now a new report from listed recruiter Clarius, the parent of Candle ICT, appears to confirm that the bottom is in for ICT jobs and the market is on the mend.

The quarterly Clarius Skills Index analyses labour demand against supply, using labour force data supplied by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The results are reflected in a skills barometer which applies a ranking to specific occupation categories which will be released quarterly.

A score of 100 indicates equal tension between labour supply and demand. Anything greater than 105 on the skills shortage side of the Index is regarded as extreme. A score of 95 to 98 is moderate.

The rate of job losses among ICT professionals slowed in the past three months providing strong indicators that the employment market has bottomed and could be set for an upturn before Christmas, according to the June quarter Clarius Skills Index released today.

The trend over the past four quarters saw a significant drop in the Skills Index, due to a significant reduction in labour shortages, but the latest figures and on-the-ground industry assessment indicate market demand is starting to rise again in a number of areas.

The Index reports that job opportunities for skilled computing professionals again fell in the June quarter to a Balanced rating of 99.6, down from a High demand rating of 104.0 a year ago, but a drop of only 0.5 from 101.0 in the March quarter.

It means the severe skills shortages that plagued the ICT industry no longer exist with labour supply and demand now on equal footing. That puts the Clarius Skills Index for computing professionals in the Balanced category and therefore most of these job vacancies are being filled.  

Skilled Labour    June 02    June 06    June 08    March 09    June 09
Demand (,000)   173         183         184          203           192
Supply (,000)     174         179         176         203            192

All States except NSW are seeing increased demand for skilled ICT Professionals in a range of ICT job categories.

The Clarius Skills Index analyses labour demand against supply, using labour force data supplied by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The results are reflected in a skills barometer which applies a ranking to specific occupation categories.

David Stewart, CEO of leading IT recruitment company, Candle ICT, a division of the Clarius Group, reports that there are significant positive signs in all states except NSW.

“In Queensland, there is a significant pickup in the demand for Business Analyst roles, indicating that a number of ICT projects are about to or has already commenced.
The Health sector is also showing signs of growth as a result of the E Health Campaign in Queensland,” he said.

“In South Australia, We are seeing some signs of returning confidence from the private sector while the government sectors, the “three pillars” – Education, Health and Police have all received funding to continue their programs of work.  

“In West Australia, On the whole, the market is still moderately quiet particularly due to the resource sector playing a heavy influence on the Perth ICT market. However, as a number of very large projects are starting to come through, we are seeing an increase in recruitment enquiries.

“But in NSW, in general, the ICT recruitment market is still relatively flat. Business Analyst roles are scarce suggesting projects in NSW has yet to pick up,” Mr. Stewart added.

“Demand for selected rolls is currently prevalent such as Software development, Administration, Helpdesk and Data modeling while a minority of vendors is also seeking Project Managers.

“In Victoria, it remains subdued in general although in recent weeks we have started to see more optimism from clients and an increase in roles coming through (particularly perm) as we start the new financial year. The skills currently in demand are developers – web technologies, Project Managers/Business Analysts – telco staff and technical support.”

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Stan Beer

Stan Beer assists with Digital Advertising installation and monitoring of advert performance. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications. Any previous news story submissions should be director to editor@itwire.com and advertising enquires to andrew.matler@itwire.com

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