Demand for IT staff to rise in 2005

The industry is demanding skills in project management, IT sales, security, .NET development, business process analysis and CRM/ERP, according to a three-month forecast by recruitment agency Hays IT.

The industry is demanding skills in project management, IT sales, security, .NET development, business process analysis and CRM/ERP, according to a three-month forecast by recruitment agency Hays IT.

The specialist recruiter examined industry trends throughout January 2005 to produce a report this week that attempts to forecast 'hotspots' in demand in the job market for the first quarter of 2005. Hays IT General Manager Pete Noblet said in the report that "Every indication is that the demand for IT staff will increase over the next 6 months and continue through to the end of the calendar year. Job flow is strong across the board in both permanent and contract recruitment".

According to Noblet, "as companies grow they are investing in their IT solutions and are updating with the latest technologies, particularly in the areas of .NET and CRM/ERP. Organisations are placing greater emphasis on the need to develop an IT solution to assist in a particular business function as opposed to implementing an IT solution that they feel could help the business. Projects are therefore being more and more driven by the business which is placing greater emphasis and demands on the need for solid project management and business process analysis skills".

Noblet also posits that IT services departments are spending increasingly on security as they realise that as developing applications and systems are capitalising on greater network communication and accessibility, increased pressure is being placed on network and system security.

"The telecommunications industry is showing signs of a strong comeback with several large scale recruitment assignments coming through on a national basis. The IT solutions and services sector is showing consistent growth, particularly in the area of business development, strategic selling and high level solutions design. The financial services, insurance and banking sector continues to show high demand for new resources which is set to continue," said Noblet.

Also recently, the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA), the major recruitment body for the technology industry, called upon the Minister for Immigration Amanda Vanstone to increase the 2005/2006 Migration Program by at least 10 percent in many skill categories, including information technology.

In a consultation with the Minister, ITCRA Executive Director Norman Lacy argued that "the Australian economy is about to face the largest global skill shortage (from 2005 to 2008) ever". According to the ITCRA, more than a million mostly skilled Australians are now working overseas, and "we need to either attract these people back to Australia or replace them with other skilled people." The consequence of failing to do this would be adding to the nation's looming skills shortage and negatively impacting economic growth.

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