IT worker overflow swells

A big increase in offshoring IT services to Asia and a slowdown in new tech systems investment has swelled the oversupply of IT workers.

This is a key finding of the latest Clarius Skills Indicator, which said there was an overflow of 1,800 IT workers in the first calendar quarter of 2014, compared to a December quarter surplus of 1,200 people.

There’s an oversupply of 500 IT managers, which is unchanged since December 2013.

Growth in offshoring IT accelerated in 2013 – up by 20 per cent over the year – but there are signs that the project and employment tide is turning, said Kym Quick, CEO at Clarius Group.

“Business and governments across the board have reduced investment in new technology. Australian businesses took advantage of the high Aussie dollar which underwrote their use of foreign suppliers of ICT services,” Quick said.

But, the local industry is beginning to see a lift in project activity in the first half of 2014 with government agencies and businesses moving services to the cloud.

Companies were also rolling out mobility solutions and new apps – particularly those firms in the banking, finance, and health sectors.

Quick said app development is driven by demand for smartphones, tablets, smart watches, in-car technology and in-flight technology.

“There is also an increase in demand for data centres, and due to the demand for space, which is expensive in all CBDs, there will be further opportunities in rural and outer suburbs,” he said.

Attracting students to ICT-related courses remains a problem and the downturn in opportunity and offshoring has accelerated the situation. Universities are pushing hard to attract candidates, the company said.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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