The Australians are coming and they’re after your body.
ICT skills are in such demand that “in Canberra, you can’t even hire bad people,” says IBRS analyst Kevin McIsaac.
McIsaac, who gave the keynote speach at an EMC information seminar in Wellington last week, says Australia will increasingly look our way to fill its depleted IT ranks.
“Because the Australian skills shortages are worse, it will look to New Zealand for those skills,” McIsaac says.
The shortage of ICT skills in New Zealand has been well documented but the situation is much worse in Australia.
“Strong economic growth has meant more transactions, documents and emails and, therefore, much more to manage,” McIsaac says. “The bad news is that the economy won’t slow for four to five years. Rather, according to the OECD, the world may be facing geographical rebalancing.”
McIsaac notes that in 2004, 12% of the New Zealand population was aged over 65; in 2051, that will grow to 25%. But in Australia, the situation is projected to be much worse.
“Therefore, greater automation, better information and more effective collaboration in IT is required.”
Currently in Australia, demand for IT workers is up 61% on last year, he says.
In February, IT job advertisements were up 8.7% compared with the national average for all jobs of 4.93%.
“There is a war for IT graduates in Australia. There is a predicted skills gap of 27,500 graduates over the next five years.”
One of the drivers of IT skills demand is the dramatic growth in unstructured data, which now comprised as much as 85% of all business data. “White collar workers are spending 30% to 40% of their time managing documents,” he says.