KPMG highlights IT wage hikes

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KPMG highlights IT wage hikes

Skills shortage back on recruiter agenda.

Employment in the ICT sector has picked up after a period of oversupply in the lead up to the Federal Election, according to a new report by KPMG Econtech.

Commissioned by IT recruiter Candle, the September Clarius Skills Index (pdf) found a shortage of more than 2,800 computing professionals across Australia.

The report defined computing professionals as those who designed and prepared software, and those that controlled and audited the operation of computing facilities within organisations.

KPMG's figures were based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and DEEWR, and highlighted an oversupply of 1,524 computing professionals in Q1 2010, following the economic downturn.

The oversupply dropped to 319 staff in Candle's June report.

"The recent Federal election had a sobering impact on the ICT sector, causing hiring activity to drop off a little and slowing the hiring process," said Candle Executive General Manager, Linda Trevor.

"But that is now picking up in all states," she said.

Employers in New South Wales and South Australia were observed to be moving contract staff on to permanent employment arrangements.

The moved echoed a Federal Government push to convert contractor positions to Australian Public Service staff positions in response to the 2008 Gershon Review.

Last July, IT recruiter Peoplebank observed a strengthening contract sector that it believed would lead to strength in the permanent market in the medium term.

KPMG now reports that employers are looking to ink permanent employment arrangements to retain staff and maintain the skills required to capitalise on a prospective economic upturn.

Businesses were also offering non-financial incentives such as flexible working arrangements and training to retain staff, the report said.

Meanwhile, employers were observed to be meeting "moderate wage demands" of 10 to 15 percent, but only for "the right people".

The report signalled strong demand for project managers and business analysts in all states except NSW, where some of Candle's clients feared a double-dip recession in the US.

Candle also expected an increase in demand for computer engineers and candidates with web production skills due to a rise in the level of technical work and upgrades at public and private sector organisations.

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