The skills shortage has forced IT training company Com Tech to relocate one of its Queensland managers to head its Auckland office.
General manager Steve Ross says Com Tech hired a manager from its Brisbane office, Janelle Connor, because his firm needed a quick replacement and did not have time to go through the full advertising and recruitment process. It made inquiries and approaches to various people, but was unable to find someone in New Zealand with the required skills.
"There is such a shortage of people, it takes forever to find the right person," he says. "Like many other companies, the skills situation in New Zealand has obviously affected our recruitment process," he says.
Ross says the skills shortage is hitting both sides of the Tasman. "While Australia is experiencing a skills shortage of 30,000 IT workers, which is expected to grow to 180,000 by 2004, New Zealand is facing its own shortage of approximately 8000 vacancies, especially for networking, developer and project management skills."
Enterprise recruitment consultant Barry O'Brien says it is the first time he has heard of a case of having to hire in Australia to fill a New Zealand vacancy. But the skills shortage, he says, is hitting all professional sectors, even accounts clerks, as people move to the US and the UK.
The head of one major IT recruiter in Auckland, who wouldn't be named, says government taxation and employment polices are fuelling the skills exodus but believes staff are still available. "There are still good people out there. It's a matter of finding them," she says.