IT skills deficit hits Aussie employers harder than global average

IT skills deficit hits Aussie employers harder than global average

86 per cent of local IT employers report difficulty finding employees with necessary skills.

Penny O'Reilly (ManpowerGroup)

Penny O'Reilly (ManpowerGroup)

Credit: ManpowerGroup

Australian IT employers are facing a tougher challenge in finding skilled employees compared to their global cohort, even though nearly one in two businesses intend to make more hires.

This is according to employment agency Manpower Group’s Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2023, which claimed 86 per cent of Australian IT employers report difficulty finding employees with necessary skills.

Meanwhile, this percentage drops to 76 per cent when considering global IT employers.

The firm also detailed the top five soft skills IT employers are seeking, which, for Australia, has critical thinking and analysis in first place. This is followed by resilience and adaptability, leadership and social influence, creativity and originality, reasoning and problem solving.

Despite the difficulty faced by local IT employers, 46 per cent said they expect to add to their headcount during the first quarter, while 10 per cent expect declines.

When seasonally adjusted, the net employment outlook comes to 38 per cent, making it the third-highest industry outlook, falling behind financials and real estate in second place with 41 per cent and transport, logistics and automotive at 44 per cent.

This is above the national average for all industries, which saw 48 per cent of surveyed Australian employers intending to increase staffing numbers, 14 per cent expecting a decline and 36 per cent forecasting no change.

When seasonally adjusted, this came to a net employment outlook of 32 per cent – down 6 per cent from the previous quarter and 5 per cent year-on-year.

“While the latest figures show a slight decrease in the net employment outlook nationally, the market remains very active,” said ManpowerGroup Australia managing director Penny O’Reilly.

“The fact that almost one in two Australian organisations intend to hire in Q1 suggests business leaders are confident about the year ahead.” 

Manpower Group's survey results about the local IT skills demand comes months after the Federal Government announced funding for digital skills initiatives in its October Budget announcement, which included a national study on, among other things, adult digital literacy skills led by Jobs and Skills Australia, as well as women in STEM programs and the delivery of integrated employment services.

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