20 September 2006

Australia the place to be for IT professionals

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A series of massive IT projects have led the Australian Government today to add a variety of computing professionals to its Migration Occupations in Demand List. Government led IT projects in the country’s Departments of Defence, Immigration and Workplace Relations have left agencies and contractors desperate for workers and poaching staff.

The Australian Government added the following to its Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) today: Computing Professionals specialising in CISSP, C++/C#/C, Java, J2EE, Network security, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP and SIEBEL.

A similar, but wide-range of IT skills are needed for projects across the country. The New South Wales government's People First strategy, a four year plan, which involves the mass consolidation of back-office administrative computing systems across the state government, involves around 100 independent projects. Meanwhile, the Department of Immigration project is said to need 200 people alone for its $495 million systems upgrade.

'There have been reports in the Australian media for a while now saying IBM is finding it tough to source staff for the Immigration project,' said Oonagh Baerveldt, spokeswoman for the Australian Visa Bureau. 'I think today’s announcement confirms this is the case. Both the Department of Immigration and the Tax Office are using Siebel for their projects and there is not enough qualified staff in Australia to meet demand.'

'Australian IT is moving away from parachuting contractors in – the industry is moving towards having agency offices in the cities where work is being done. From an optics perspective, it’s not okay for a lot of coding to be done overseas anymore,' said Baerveldt.

The bulk of the vacancies are in the cities of Canberra and Adelaide where the cost of living and quality of life is suited to young families. The cost of housing, ease of travel to work, and parklands are said to be major selling points to British IT professionals.

IT professionals interested in investigating the possibility of emigrating to Australia are encouraged to take the Online Assessment for Australia to determine their points total. Australia’s migration system is points-based, however, applicants whose skills appear on the country’s Migration Occupations in Demand List receive bonus points and their applications fast-tracked.

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