Daily Archives: November 12, 2011

(AUS IT) Skills shortage drops dead

From IT Wire by Beverley Head Tuesday, 08 November 2011 05:19

It now seems safe to state categorically that courtesy of the economy and tumbling business confidence Australia’s IT skills shortage is well and truly over and will stay so for the remainder of 2011 and well into the first quarter of 2012.

Candle, the IT recruitment arm of the Clarius group overnight released the findings of its September quarter Clarius Skills Index for Computing Professionals which shows that skills demand and supply is at the most balanced level it has been all year.
KPMG Econotech conducts the skills survey for Clarius using Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations data. An index of 100 represents perfect skills-demand balance where figures above 101 are considered to indicate skills shortages.

For September the index stood at 100.4, marginally down from June when it stood at 100.5 and well down on the 101.1 index during the March quarter.

According to the Australian Information Industry Association there are about 426,000 ICT professionals employed nationwide. Clarius’ report found that there was a shortfall of just 900 people in the September quarter, compared to 1,100 three months earlier.

Linda Trevor, Candle’s executive general manager, said that while October and November were generally pretty good months for recruitment, the demand had been much slower this year than last. Generally demand dies almost completely in December and January, picking up again toward the end of February.

While demand seems in the doldrums at present, Ms Trevor was keen to talk up the prospects for early next year.

“This is a bit deceptive as there will always be a skills shortage with an ageing workforce,” she said. Ms Trevor added that she believed employers had been spooked by the uncertainty on the broader economy and restrained about hiring new permanent staff.

“It’s very very unpredictable at the moment…because people are being really reactive to what is happening in the market” However she said that in discussions she had held recently with companies they had all said that they planned to start hiring again in earnest during the first quarter of 2012.

Asked whether the changes foreshadowed last week and confirmed this week regarding the changes to the 457 visa accreditation process might further reduce the shortfall between supply and demand Ms Trevor said that while welcome, the changes would not necessarily overcome skills gaps.

Under the Government’s 457 sponsorship accreditation scheme companies with revenues of $4 million plus which have been involved as a 457 visa sponsor in the last three years, and with at least 75 per cent of their workforce being Australian workers, can apply for a six year long accredited status allowing the fast tracking of 457 visa applications.

Ms Trevor said that this was useful for employers, but that holders of 457 visas themselves would still only be able to come and work in Australia for a maximum of four years at a time.

(NSW) Govt money on offer for new mobile solutions


From IT Wire by Peter Dinham Tuesday, 08 November 2011 16:53

The New South Wales Government has again thrown its support behind consortiums in the IT industry, enticing them to develop new mobile technology solutions to build the State’s digital economy and improve the effectiveness of government services.

The NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, today announced the opening of applications for grants under the second round of the government’s collaborative solutions program, or Mobile Government program. Applications will open on 17 November.

Under the second round of the program, the state government will provide up to $1 million over the next year to help consortiums develop new mobile solutions for the public sector.

“Earlier this year 11 NSW consortiums were awarded incentive grants under Mobile Concierge, the first round of the Collaborative Solutions program, to develop new mobile solutions for the tourism and retail sectors,” Mr Stoner said.

According to the Minister, the second-round program will accelerate development of new-to-market and significantly innovative mobile solutions that have significant potential for commercial success, job creation, and exports.

“Not only does this aim to support growth in our ICT sector but it will also drive innovation, service and productivity improvements in NSW Government agencies.

“Today’s announcement is in keeping with our Simpler Services Plan, a commitment to ensure government services are easier to access, simple, and offer real time, up to date information for NSW residents.”

The Minister said the government expected that between five and ten projects will be supported, depending on consortium submissions, and that the mobile solutions will be delivered either via mobile phones or tablet devices and could exploit features such as wireless broadband, mobile computing, mobile payments, location based services, augmented reality, mobile social media, or sensor technologies.

The new solutions will be matched and trialled with agencies within the state’s Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, which spans activities including economic development, primary industries, tourism and the arts.

“Trialling the solutions with the NSW Government will provide consortiums with a low cost and low risk opportunity to fine tune and validate their technologies while providing a valuable and trusted reference site for promoting future domestic and international sales,” Mr Stoner said.

“At the same time the NSW Government will gain early and cost-effective access to innovative technologies that can improve the public sector by leveraging our ICT industry’s agility, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

“Improvements delivered to the public sector could include better government-to-public or government-to-business interactions, reduced costs, faster processing, and more positive customer engagements.

“The aim is to provide long-term benefits for all stakeholders including the creation of valuable intellectual property, high-value jobs, digital economy capabilities, and more effective government delivery, all in NSW.”

Details on the Collaborative Solutions Mobile Government program including submission forms are available online at http://www.business.nsw.gov.au/collaborativesolutions

An industry briefing is planned for Thursday 17 November, with registrations required via the website.



From FutureGov 9 November 2011 by Clarice Africa 

The Department of Science and Technology has deployed 100 RxBoxes in remote total centres and selected multipurpose community telecentres in order to test the efficiency of the system as it aims to bring quality health services in “doctor-less” villages.


The RxBox, is a portable device specifically designed to cater to the needs of “doctor-less” areas.

The device contains medical devices for taking a patient’s electrocardiogram or ECG, heart rate, blood, pulse rate and blood oxygenation. In addition, the device also has a “teleconsultation” feature allowing clinical experts located in another place to “virtually”inspect patients or assist rural doctors on how to better manage or treat their patients.

Furthermore, audio signals from a patient’s heart, lungs, and the abdomen could also be transmitted to clinical experts for them to diagnose the status of the patient from the health unit. This feature would allow doctors from the Philippine General Hospital to help rural doctors in handling serious medical cases from their respective health units

RxBox is part of the proposed P30 million National Telehealth Service Program (NTSP) of the University of the Philippines-Manila National Telehealth Centre and the Department of Health.

The program aims to use information communication technology to deliver health care in rural and underserved areas is one of the government’s efforts in improving health care for the Filipino people.

According to DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, the complete rollout of the NTSP is targeted next year and will be an answer to the problem posed by the lack of doctors in in several remote rural areas.

“Critical cases can be monitored in real time even in hospitals outside the reach of wired network structures,” Montejo said.

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