Australian initiative launched to ease skills crisis

A private network of CIOs across the Tasman is being tapped to find quality ICT candidates. Sandra Rossi reports

In an effort to overcome continuing skills shortages, Australian CIOs have launched an initiative of their own to find quality graduates and entry-level ICT candidates.

The new service has been launched by the CIO Executive Council, a networking group whose membership is comprised of over 80 ICT professionals from leading Australian companies.

The service provides members with access to a pool of talented graduates candidates via the council’s website.

Graduates submit their CV to the site and six major Australian universities are participating in the service.

Council staff will perform an initial screening of candidates. The executive council’s executive director, Con Colovos, says members can search for specific skill sets and locate profiles that match their needs.

“One obvious benefit is that CIOs can source high quality candidates with ease, saving their organisations both time and money,” Colovos says.

The council is also partnering with the Sydney Universities Business Information Systems Student Association (BISA), which aims to become a National Student Association in 2007. The council is also a sponsor of the BISA.

Speaking at a CIO Australia magazine conference recently, council member and Queensland government CIO Peter Grant said the continuing skills shortage is a growing problem for ICT departments.

Grant says ICT enrolments in tertiary institutions have dropped 70% in the past five years.

“Everyone is saying 2006 is a great year as ICT enrolments have only fallen 15%,” he says.

“We need to let young people know ICT is a great career choice with plenty of opportunity.”

Only last month the federal government launched an A$837 million (NZ$966 million) programme to ease the skills shortage.

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