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Matching ICT talent to demand is a work in progress: ITCRA

Contracting in the ICT industry continues to rise, according to A/NZ ICT association, Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA).

Its quarterly SkillsMatch Dashboard showed a further increase in placements from the previous quarter. It was stated in the study that 23 per cent of roles placed by its data contributing members held permanent positions and 77 per cent contract roles, the highest level recorded since the second quarter of 2009.

ITCRA CEO, Julie Mills, said the trend is market driven and continues to reflect the nature of many ICT infrastructure projects, ongoing changes in government tendering arrangements and the business models of clients partnering with ITCRA members.

"The trends show a slow maturing of these partnerships. Contracting has always been the preferred option of many of the ICT workforce --and therefore the placement models, required by business and supplied by ITCRA members, are increasingly reflecting this preference.

Furthermore current economic decisions are being made in a risk adverse environment with a considered view of the continuing global economic uncertainty," she said.

Mills claimed that when employers face gloomy predictions and economic uncertainty, the contracting workforce provides the flexibility to scale up or down according to demand.

"This delivers a business agility and opportunity to regularly review workforce needs -- when this is done in partnership with ICT contract and recruitment companies, the clients and contractors have increased opportunities for knowing the talent and projects available."

The report also indicated that the number of days to fill a role decreased across most states to an average of 13 days -- it marked 15 days last quarter.

However, the number of suitable candidates decreased from the previous quarter despite more candidates being available.

ICTRA said it suggests that despite a greater availability of candidates, there is a bigger issue than just "the talent", as the alignment of ICT talent to business needs is moving in a positive direction.

"No longer is it just about ICT skills in isolation -- these are obviously essential but communication and presentation, team and performance management and business understanding are among other requirements," Mills added.

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