There may be more IT jobs than there are skilled workers, but it seems up-to-the minute qualifications are still no guarantee of a job.
Thirty-year-old Robert Frittmann, of Henderson, Auckland is puzzled and angry that he remains jobless after several weeks of searching, and is considering leaving the country.
He is a Microsoft Certified Professional and claims five to six years experience in the industry. Successful projects he has worked on include setting up a Windows Terminal Server-based thin client network for the Bible College of New Zealand, completed in May.
Frittmann says he has applied for more than 30 jobs since his last one ended in September. But he's become cynical about the peddling his skills to recruitment agencies.
“Do I stay in the industry at all, or do I become part of the brain drain, leaving New Zealand and taking my skills elsewhere?
“It is a lie there are all these jobs. Vacancies are dropping,” Frittman claims. He reckons the NZ Herald’s IT jobs section is not as big as it was.
“If these vacancies exist it is not in the skills I have. I am seeing a lot of development work; but I am a network engineer,” he says.
When he approaches potential employers directly, Frittmann says they put him touch with recruitment agencies. But he says agency interviews amount to nothing more than a general handing over of CV and personal details, with no reference to actual vacancies.
“It seems to me they are not interested in clients at all. We [jobless] are just a resource they may call upon. Agencies are not out there to find jobs; they are out to find applicants for clients,” he says.
Among the agencies he has seen are Parker Bridge and Morgan & Banks.
Parker’s head of e-commerce and IT, Fiona MacDougall, says the company seeking a post Frittmann applied for had withdrawn the vacancy. And if a job came up and Frittman had “the right skills and the right personality” for a role, he would be put forward.
Morgan & Banks Auckland general manager Sheryl Green says agencies have to find people jobs to get paid. It is too expensive and time-consuming just to take them to fill up databases.
“The issue would be whether he has the relevent skills that meet the market at the moment. We have more jobs than we have people for. We are seeking people all the time,” she says.
However, employers seek more than just qualifications, she says; they also want people with the right ethics who can fit in well with a company.