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Less demand for IT project managers

Less demand for IT project managers

Businesses around Australia are still outsourcing and cutting costs, creating less demand for some ICT professionals

Job prospects are getting more competitive for IT project managers, while .NET developers and business intelligence are still in high demand, according to a recent skills index.

The Clarius Skills Index found a mixed bag of results across Australia. On a national level, the supply of IT staff increased at a faster rate than demand in the March quarter. However, more than 5500 ICT professionals are still required for projects, which is significantly less than the 9200 shortfall of ICT staff in September.

Linda Trevor, executive general manager of Clarius’ ICT brand, said demand is now 18 per cent lower than a year ago.

“There was very little joy from the recent federal budget except in certain pockets, such as the government-driven ACT market where a handful of projects got funding and [resources],” she said.

While government spending has been cut in sectors such defence, funding has been increased in e-health.

The living away from home allowance will also have an impact on the IT jobs market, particularly in states like South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

“While there is demand from the resources-driven Western Australia market, and to a lesser degree the Queensland market, banks and other institutions and some major retail organisations have downsized their IT staff,” Trevor said.

Despite this, there are still sectors of IT which are experiencing shortages. For example, in the ACT there is a shortage in software configuration, software integration, SAP and Siebel development, Release MGT, network specialists, system specialists, virtualisation specialist and mainframe development. There are also shortages in network/systems/server engineers and administrators.

In Victoria, there remains steady demand for IT professionals with three to 10 years experience.

“The shortages are of candidates across business intelligence, solutions architecture, .NET development, infrastructure architecture and business analysis across software and solutions design,” Trevor said.

Meanwhile, in the Melbourne market, Trevor said there is a high supply of project/program managers, which previously experienced an undersupply.

“...this change means companies are now relying more heavily on their permanent work force,” she said.

In New South Wales, IT projects have been put on hold and there is a lack of IT business spending, with IT services still being outsourced.

“A major financial services company has issued redundancies to areas of their IT department. Another two are considering offering a number of contract staff permanent or fixed-term positions to reduce costs on contract,” Trevor said.

However, there are shortages in business intelligence, mobile development, SAP and IT security.

Further north, Trevor said costs are being cut in the public and private sectors in Queensland, which is resulting in a decline in the need for project managers. However, demand is still being experienced in .NET and java developers, SAP consultants and BI data warehousing resources and continued demand for testers with automation, manual and XML skills.

“But there is also a 100 day recruitment freeze across the government; the only roles approved prior to the election being released are the technical roles within government departments,” Trevor said.

The Clarius Skills Index measures supply and demand of skilled labour in Australia and is based on Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations data, which is analysed by KPMG.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

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