April 22, 2009
April 22, 2009

IT and telecom skills are still in short supply across Asia, despite the economic crisis.
The gap is particularly sharp in Australia, where the Australian Computer Society (ACS) says skills gaps exist “across the board” and predicts 14,000 vacancies by 2010.

Hong Kong and Singapore businesses are seeking experts in business analysis and security and in areas attracting fresh investment such as new media.The continuing demand for IT skill sets flies in the face of the massive contraction in the regional jobs market.

The number of Australian ICT job ads grew 1.4% in February after falling by 16.7% in January, according to the Olivier Job Index. Ads are down 47% year-on-year.Hong Kong IT job ads fell 37.6% in the fourth quarter, says recruitment firm Robert Walters. Singapore ads were down 35.9% compared with a 40.7% decline across all sectors. Ads in China and Japan contracted 20.1% and 27.1% respectively.

ACS chairman Kumar Parakala said despite the slump, Australian IT skill gaps had opened up in “health informatics, mining, business systems integration, ICT project development, business support, business analysts and games development.“ICT skills shortages will grow by 29% by the year 2010 to just over 14,000 jobs unless we make changes to policy on ICT employment and skills,” he said.

The gap, which he predicted would increase to 25,000 jobs by 2020, was a result of a lack of investment in training by employers, low numbers of students and in particular women, and the emigration of IT professionals to higher-paying jobs abroad. Australia’s Department of Immigration is reportedly having trouble finding employees with SAP, Siebel, network security and Java skills.

Agnes Mak, director of The Hong Kong Institute for IT Professional Certification, says the territory faces a chronic shortage of business analysts and information security experts. “It is easy to find a techie, but it is not easy to find a good business analyst who can understand the business,” she said. “They act as a bridge between the users and the IT group, and are especially sought-after in big IT organizations.”She said businesses were seeking both high-level and operational level security specialists. “Previously only senior experts were in demand, but now organizations see that the mindset should go from top to bottom.”

Axer Goh, senior consultant at Robert Walters’ IT contract division, said that after cutting costs, Singapore companies “see the need to increase or maintain productivity and efficiency levels to stay competitive,” she said.-

Source: Telecom Asia

Apr 16, 2009
By Dylan Bushell-Embling

April 22, 2009
April 22, 2009

Believe it or not, there is a sector of financial services which is generating more job opportunities than before the financial crisis.

The life insurance industry has hit the hiring button as a recession-weary public seek to safeguard their wealth. Life insurance sales in Australia jumped nearly 6% in Q4 2008, according to preliminary figures from research house Plan for Life. And leading insurer ING reports a 25% rise in its sales for Q1 2009, compared to Q1 last year. “The trend increase in life insurance sales reflects the increasing concern Australians have with the current economic environment and their need to protect existing wealth,” says Gerard Kerr, head of products, marketing and reinsurance for ING Australia’s life risk division.  And with more policies being sold, more jobs are being created.  “There’s been a 100% increase in available roles compared to this time last year.

This uptake really began in Q4 of 2008 and it’s been mainly growth hires,” says Sarah Wapling, a practice leader at Link Recruitment. And it seems that vacancies are rising across the various types of organisations which sell life policies – from specialist insurance firms and retail banks (CBA’s CommInsure subsidiary has the largest market share), to super funds and boutique financial planning firms. These institutions are hiring for a wide range of roles, including front-line salespeople, underwriters and business development mangers, says Wapling.Back-office jobs, especially those with specialist accounting skills, are also in demand, according to Brad Shotland, associate director, financial services at Michael Page. But accountants in banks be warned, you need an insurance background to land a job in this sector.

 “Employers are generally looking for accountants who’ve already worked in insurance, but they will consider taking people from the Big Four accounting firms who have audited insurance companies,” says Shotland. Insurance experience is becoming more important for financial planners too. Wapling explains: “In the past, most financial planners saw life insurance only as an ‘add-on’ to more important products like superannuation and investments.

In the current market, being able to sell insurance has an immediate positive impact on revenue.”But as life insurance-related employment expands in Australia, firms might find it increasingly difficult to source skilled staff. “There’s a shortage of talent because in the past insurance salespeople had a tarnished reputation. This put people off entering the industry, but that’s now gradually changing.”

Source:Simon Mortlock


April 22, 2009

April 14, 2009  

The English language requirement for Australian Visa Subclass 457 – Business (Long Stay) visa applicants has increased from an average IELTS test band score of 4.5 to 5.  

This change applies to following categories:*                    

 Nominated occupations within ASCO major groups 4 to 7 *                    

People applying as chefs or head chefs (ASCO 3322-11 or 3322-01) *                    

An application for a 457 visa made on or after 14 April 2009  

Note: if an occupation requires visa applicant to hold a licence, registration or membership that is mandatory for its performance, and if that licence, registration or membership requires an IELTS score of more than 5 (average), a visa applicant must have that IELTS test score at time of decision. 

April 16, 2009

GEOS Oceania English Language colleges  Description – GEOS Oceania English Language Colleges offer English courses in modern facilities in the Oceania region – Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.GEOS English Language Colleges have certainly developed an enviable reputation for providing students with a wonderful cultural experience whilst at the same time ensuring that their educational goals are achieved.GEOS Colleges offer an extensive range of long and part-time courses. In fact, whatever a student’s English needs are, they will be met….whether it be the Cambridge Examinations, IELTS or TOEFL preparation etc.  




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