Press Release IT People

Report highlights need to address retention of ICT talent

Australian organisations risk losing some of their best talent and exacerbating skills gaps and shortages if they don’t address the workplace issues of their ICT staff, according to a new APESMA report.

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A new report by the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA) reveals that many organisations are failing to address the issues which would ensure their best ICT talent does not walk out the door to another role.

According to the report, without implementing sound recruitment, development and retention strategies at the enterprise level, the initiatives being undertaken to address skills gaps and systemic and cyclical shortages are likely to be undermined.

APESMA CEO Chris Walton says the RADAR report is a blueprint on the basics of effective people management. “There’s no point in working towards broadening the pool of talent from which ICT Professionals are drawn, getting graduates more work ready, working on a ICT skills framework, attracting talent into ICT courses and improving higher education ICT enrolments when the right settings are not in place as people hit the workforce and grow throughout their careers.

“When ICT Professionals are in the top 10 occupations experiencing talent gaps and shortages in Australia, with 40 per cent intent on changing jobs in the next 12 months, with 10 per cent saying their current pay is poor, with an 80 per cent gender imbalance, with more than 25 per cent unhappy with their training - significantly more than other workers (19 per cent) - and significant numbers of women are indicating their intention to leave the ICT profession because of work/life balance issues - there’s little doubt that organisations need to address these issues at the enterprise level.

“If we’re to address the forecast shortfall of 25,000 ICT people in the next decade, we need to look at sustaining individuals’ commitment to the profession at the workplace level. It isn’t just about attracting the next generation of ICT professionals to the sector - it’s about keeping them and creating a vibrant and diverse local ICT industry. The recognition of the input of ICT professionals, their remuneration and conditions, career development and skill currency are central to developing a diverse, innovative, responsive and committed Australian ICT industry. The RADAR report is intended to help identify some of the patterns in dissatisfaction in the ICT workforce and ways to address people’s concerns.

“APESMA believes that an industry-wide commitment to addressing these issues at the enterprise level should form a fundamental part of the vision for the ICT sector over the next decade.”

The report is available for download at http://www.apesma.asn.au/professions/itpa/RADAR_report_-_APESMA_March_2011.pdf.

Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia, www.apesma.asn.au

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