She said it was important for would-be job candidates to take a step back and look at what they do today, and how they could, perhaps by taking a training course, ensure their skills matched employer demand.
ITCRA has today launched its SkillsMatch ICT Skills Dashboard which tracks the number of jobs on offer and number of candidates available as recorded by its member recruitment companies. The organisation plans to release the report once a quarter.
Right now ITCRA's data show that demand is greatest for help desk experience, project management, Java, SQL and Windows. However the top five candidate skills on offer are .com, training, support, email and documentation.
'There is already evidence of a mismatch in skills if you look at the top skills available and the top skills in demand,' which was said Ms Mills, fuelling talk of a skills shortage. But she argued that candidates could skill themselves up, and employers could consider providing more training to new hires, in order to overcome the mismatch which was fuelling talk of a shortage.
The skills mismatch issue could be even more of a challenge once NBN Co's hiring gets into gear. With expectations that the organisation will hire 1,000 staff in the next year, five companies have been selected to manage the telecommunications and IT hiring - namely Clarius (Candle), Interpro, Launch Recruitment, Paxus and Talent International.
Where will NBN skills demand bite? read on
More broadly however she said that as the NBN was rolled out to households there would be additional skills demands on the broader ecosystem - for example help desk operators required to work in NBN retail providers.
The tightening supply of ICT labour ITCRA's data reveal is in line with the economy overall which has seen unemployment trending downwards for the last three quarters according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Unemployment for April stood at 4.9 per cent.
Ms Mills said that ITCRA had been collecting the data behind the newly released dashboard for the last four or five years, but that the results had never been published before. She said in all ITCRA prepared around 40 different reports for its members, which were also made available to particular organisations such as MultiMedia Victoria which used the data for skills forecasting, and the Department of Immigration which had accessed ITCRA data to inform the 457 debate.
Another cut of the ITCRA data has already revealed contracting is becoming more popular. It found that while contracting declined throughout 2010, it jumped over 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, accounting for 78 per cent of all recorded placements by ITCRA members.
'We expect that the number of contractors will grow even further in the coming quarter, particularly on the back of the Federal Government's announcement of $770 million in ICT project funding in the recent budget,' Ms Mills said in a media release issued by the organisation.