Infrastructure funding to drive IT jobs

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Infrastructure funding to drive IT jobs

It could be February or March next year before the Canberra job market recovers from the Gershon Review, but it will likely be on the back of resurgent spending on large infrastructure projects, according to one of Australia’s largest IT recruiters.

Speaking to iTnews, chief operating officer of Peoplebank, Peter Acheson, said that Peter Gershon’s whole-of-government ICT review had resulted in a softening in the technology employment market in the nation’s capital.

“Obviously Gershon has had an impact of flattening the Canberra market over the last six months,” said Acheson.

“Our expectation is that we’ll start to see the market pick up again in February or March next year. There’s a real sense that the Federal government is now looking to accelerate investment in infrastructure and IT will be involved in that.”

Earlier today, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced a $300 million boost in new infrastructure investment for local government.

The government is also moving forward with several other high-profile infrastructure projects, including the National Broadband Network.

Acheson said that he anticipates the IT employment market to hold together reasonably well in 2009. Peoplebank’s clients – ASX200s, government agencies, even the vendors – appear to still be committed to rolling out IT projects next year.

He claimed that the CBA core systems upgrade, for example, would also drive other banks to refresh their systems next year to keep pace.

However, many would look for contract rather than permanent staff to fill positions around these types of projects, according to Acheson.

“We’ve taken a hit in permanent recruitment. It’s come off [the boil] since about March,” said Acheson.

“Contract positions have held up pretty well. We expect to see some pretty good demand for contractors around March or April next year. Some of that will be short-term, but others will be on long-term contracts.”

Business analysts, J2EE/Java programmers, SAP and project managers are the most in-demand roles across the country – with some state-based variations.

.NET programmers are also in demand, Acheson said.

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