Budget looks promising for IT jobs

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Recruiters are upbeat about this week's Federal Budget, with some predicting that any resulting increased confidence in the economy could be positive for the IT job market.

Recruiters are upbeat about this week's Federal Budget, with some predicting that any resulting increased confidence in the economy could be positive for the IT job market.

"The whole budget is very positive in terms of general economic activity … [and in a] positive business environment IT will benefit indirectly," said Bob Olivier, director of the Olivier Group.

Olivier believed that there would be an upward trend for IT jobs, but added that the effect of the Budget won't become evident until July when companies start mapping out their own budgets for the new financial year.

"General incentives to increase [workforce] participation will increase supply and are to be applauded," Olivier added.

Grant Montgomery, managing director at E.L Consult, said that prior to the Budget, research by E.L Consult had shown a decrease in the demand for IT executives.

However, Montgomery predicted that the budget would boost consumer demand considerably, creating confidence in the economy and an upward trend in IT jobs over the next year.

"When there is confidence in the economy, IT is one of the first to get a substantial result," he said.

The real influence would be the confidence of business managers, who would be more likely to invest in new hardware and IT personnel, Montgomery said.

Montgomery expected IT skills training would get the lion's share of training related funding from the government, though he said it would take quite a while to see the results.

Federal Budget initiatives, in areas such as childcare, could also have an impact on the pool of IT candidates.

Martin Retschko, Victorian practice manager for IT&T at Hudson, said that the supply of job candidates would increase thanks to childcare and self-funded retirement incentives. Incentives for foreign executives would also aid candidate supply.

Reduced compliance costs would give businesses greater confidence to do business both locally and offshore which would also have a positive influence on IT jobs, Retschko said.

According to part one of the latest Hudson Report, which outlines employment expectations for the April-June 2005 period, 33.4 percent of employers in IT expect to grow the number of permanent full-time positions Retschko said.

The increase in supply of IT jobseekers would help address the current IT skills shortage and create demand for IT training over time, Retschko added. However, he said it was difficult for him to say what the net long term effect of the Budget would be.

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