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30 August 2007

Australia's IT boom needs talent

The information and communication technology (ICT) sector in Australia is prospering but the future of this important contributor to the economy is dependent on attracting skilled workers to take up Australian immigration.

Special minister of state, Gary Nairn, said in a speech last month at the GovTech 2007 Summit in Canberra: "We often hear of the mining boom as playing a role in Australia's strong economy we enjoy today.

"I put to you that we are also experiencing an ICT boom. ICT has contributed to between 50 and 80 per cent of productivity growth in Australia's services and manufacturing sector over the past 20 years."

However, he went on to say that the ICT skills shortage must be addressed for Australia's future economic well-being. He said the government must continue working to increase the talent pool, in conjunction with the industry.

The Australian government is working with industry leaders on various plans to increase the home grown talent pool through education and mentoring programmes. In the meantime, this is a great time for people with ICT skills to apply for an Australian visa and take advantage of the many permanent and contracting job opportunities.

The job market for ICT professionals is so strong at the moment that many people are opting to contract rather than becoming a full time employee, reports ComputerWorld magazine. About half of all IT workers in Australia are currently employed on a casual or contractual basis.

A survey by ICT recruitment firm Candle revealed 35 percent of all IT staff in Australia are on a contract. That is up from 26 per cent last year. The level of people in full-time permanent employment in Australia is now only 54 per cent, down from 76 per cent.

Australia needs experienced ICT professionals: 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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