31 October 2007

Australian IT skill shortage is a key issue

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Australia's IT skills shortage is a key issue for businesses, in some cases the inability to find staff is preventing firms from accepting contracts. Australian immigration by qualified and experienced British IT professionals is urgently required.

Kevin Bloch, director of technology and business solutions for IT giant Cisco, told business leaders magazine CRN that the "lack of skills means either not being able to do business at all, or in some cases doing business without the right skills, leading to problems downstream".

Bloch had a great deal of praise for Australian businesses, calling them "some of the most progressive in the world". The example he gave was of Australian companies leveraging the capabilities of Web 2.0 "way ahead of their peers in other countries". There is considerable demand for people with Web 2.0 skills and an Australian visa.

He said most IT resellers are actively engaged in recruitment and/or development programmes. "In the most extreme cases, the skills issues mean some resellers are unable to bid for certain opportunities," he added.

Many IT skills are on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (the Australian MODL), meaning these occupations may be eligible for extra points in the general skilled migration points test.

Australia's public service needs skilled IT workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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