BALLARAT has the highest proportion of information and communication technology employees in regional Victoria and the third highest in regional Australia, according to Ballarat ICT.
The company conducted a survey of local businesses, to get their perspective on ICT needs, organisational characteristics, employment patterns and their attitudes towards ICT to see what gaps needed to be filled and what employers were looking for.
Executive officer Ian Fry said the survey followed one done by the City of Ballarat, to see the different trends in employment for the ICT industry.
“We want to ensure that we have the jobs for our graduates and they don’t have to move away for employment,” Mr Fry said.
“Ballarat has always been strong in ICT, with employers such as IBM, but it will continue to be strong.”
Conducted with Federation University Australia, the survey looked at the university’s course to ensure it was meeting industry demands.
“We looked at the employers around the region and what they wanted from their employees.
“They want graduates to connect more strongly to the business than ever before.”
He said businesses were moving to Ballarat to take advantage of the region’s high-calibre infrastructure and facilities. Ballarat is now considered to be the fastest growing regional IT centre in Victoria.
Mr Fry said ICT employment was a big employment area that would only continue to grow.
He said the item on the survey that surprised him the most was that 38 per cent of businesses said they were looking for employers with virtualisation skills, closely followed by programming and application development, with project management coming in third.
Programming and application development was the most difficult role to fill, and this sort of work was most commonly outsourced.