Tuesday, 27 January 2015 14:51

Increase in jobs, little or no increase in salaries, less 457 Visas Featured

Image courtesy of Ambro, freedigitalphotos.net/images Image courtesy of Ambro, freedigitalphotos.net/images

There might be more opportunities to secure a job in the IT sector this year, but salaries for IT professionals will barely rise despite employers’ plans to increase IT budgets.

The good and bad news comes from ClicksIT Recruitment in its annual recruitment survey, with a forecast that salaries in the IT sector this year will rise by a ‘miserly’ 1.54%, even though employers say they will increase their IT budgets and staffing levels during 2015.

“Australia’s steady improvement in economic outlook has fed through to IT budgets, particularly in the public sector,” said Ben Wood, the Managing Director of Clicks IT Recruitment.

“This growth is due to an increase in projects that focus on digital transformation, cloud uptake and refreshing core systems.”

Wood says a surprise finding from the survey is a significant reduction in plans to hire IT workers on 457 Visas – down from 12% of respondents in 2014 to 4% this year. Sponsored 457 Visas allow skilled overseas workers to come to Australia to work for an approved business for up to four years.

Equally mystifying, says Wood, is the reluctance to hire IT graduates – the lowest level in five years.

“Whilst hiring demand is growing overall, respondents favour contractors over permanent staff. In fact, those organisations looking to hire permanents are less than half the level of five years ago.

“The IT role most in demand is business analyst, which traditionally is among the first skill hired at the start of a project, indicating a strong pipeline of project work.”

Here are all the key findings from the Clicks survey:

The Good:
•    45% of respondents are optimistic about increasing sales this year. Of them, 31% expect the increase to be between 11% and 20%.

•    27% expect to increase their IT budgets this year

•    25% expect to increase their IT staff, with a greater focus on contractors than permanents.

The Bad:

•    Salaries are forecasted to increase by just 1.54% – the lowest since the Clicks survey started 15 years ago. By comparison, 2014 salaries rose by 2.5%

•    Only 27% of respondents hired graduates in 2014, and that policy won’t change this year

The indifferent:
•    The overall ‘health’ of the IT industry remains steady at 61% (100% would mean totally healthy).

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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