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Words of Whizdom

Canberra Market and Beyond...

Posted on 10th August 2022 by John McCluskey

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​Over the past few years, we have seen a large requirement for contract and labour hire services in Canberra and many recruiters have been run off their feet and reporting record years. But, are the good times about to end, and are there wider concerns across the professional staffing and ICT sectors?

Projects and spending in Government and private sectors to support COVID programs, remote working and lockdowns are coming to an end. We have had a change of Federal Government that has a mandate to cut government spending on contractors and consultants by 3 billion dollars and remove the hiring caps on the Australian Public Sector (APS). On top of this the new Government wants large tech firms to pay more tax.

We have already seen the first signs of support contracts and contractors not being renewed by Federal Departments as reported in the Canberra Times on Sunday, 12th June 2022.

Some of these contractors will be engaged directly by these departments on either a casual or permanent basis, either way not a great outcome for labour hire and recruitment firms operating in the ACT.

The tech sector is struggling with high costs to engage talent locally, labour shortages due to low immigration for the past two years, long delays in sponsoring overseas workers, higher operational and insurance costs, higher interest and inflation rates, and a government that wants to tax them more.

We are even hearing the ‘R’ word (Recession) being thrown around.

With many professional roles being identified to support remote work, this means the work does not have to be done locally or in Australia.

Not surprisingly to remain competitive, we have seen an appetite to offshore work for specialist skills where labour is more freely available, cheaper, and better operating conditions for business.

While conditions for recruitment firms with a presence in the ACT are still strong, we will be watching the market conditions locally and nationally closely over the coming 12 months.