Welfare agency Centrelink has chosen Adelaide as the base
for a new IT hub, citing difficulties in recruiting and
retaining qualified staff in Canberra.
The agency would shift a number of national IT functions and positions to the South Australian capital during 2007, beefing up an existing operation that usually covers some 150-odd staff, Human Services Minister Joe Hockey said today.
A spokesperson for the Minister confirmed creation of the hub would generate about 100 new jobs in Adelaide. However, during its first 12 months of operation, it would only see about a dozen created, with significant growth expected after that. She said most of those positions would be in the programming and business analysis areas.
"This hub will be established to overcome some of the
difficulties faced by Centrelink in recruiting and retaining IT
staff and graduates in Canberra," said Hockey.
"There is currently a skills shortage in the IT industry,
which means Centrelink has had to look at different ways of
attracting skilled workers."
However, the spokesperson confirmed there would "still be a significant investment" in IT in Canberra.
Hockey said Adelaide was chosen to host the hub due to the "excellent"
IT programs of its universities, and that it already hosts some
national Centrelink IT functions such as the Systems Testing and
User Assurance Centres.