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Lundy's desperate deception on ICT employment.



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Acting Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

MEDIA RELEASE

Lundy's desperate deception on ICT employment

'Senator Kate Lundy should immediately apologise to the ICT industry for her disgraceful misrepresentation of the recent Olivier Internet Job Index results', the acting Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Rod Kemp said today.

'While the index measured the number of ICT job advertisements for September, Senator Lundy chose to deliberately describe the results of the index as indicating that ICT employment dropped by 11.2% last month.

'In addition, Senator Lundy was typically selective in her use of available statistics on ICT employment excluding recent figures including the reputable ANZ Job Advertisement survey. The ANZ survey showed an increase of 3.2% for job advertisements in major metropolitan newspapers in September-citing IT as an area of growth. Consulting group E.L. Consult also found that demand of ICT management positions had risen by 52% from August to September.

'Senator Lundy's irresponsible and deceptive stunt on this issue represents another pathetic attempt to hide Labor's complete lack of policy direction in this area while also demonstrating a willingness to mislead the ICT sector for purely political purposes.

'In contrast, the Coalition Government continues to enhance its ICT employment policy through initiatives such as the IT Skills Hub.

'The IT Skills Hub involves 18 of Australia's largest ICT companies, the Federal Government and major educators working together to find a balance between IT skills supply and demand-optimising the opportunities for job seekers and the skills base for potential employees.

'In addition, the Government continues to react to the changing market for information and communications technology (ICT) professionals. Last month it reduced the number of ICT specialities on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) to five (down from 12). This follows an earlier drop from 26 to 12 in April this year.

'There has also been a 26 per cent decline in the number of temporary business visas granted to ICT workers in 2001-02 compared to the previous year.

'These reductions clearly demonstrate the Government is monitoring and reacting to the

 

softening of the ICT labour market in a sensible and balanced fashion.

'If an apology is not received from Senator Lundy, we can only conclude that Simon Crean condones such reprehensible behaviour from his Shadow Ministry,' Senator Kemp concluded.

Media contact: Richard Wise 02 6277 7350 or 0438 204 554

231/02 11 October 2002