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IT industry weathers retrenchments

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While economist fear that retrenchments will increase due to the current economic situation and exacerbating conditions caused by rolling power cuts, the IT industry is not being affected by the threat of retrenchments. 

Karen Geldenhuys, MD of Abacus Recruitment, comments: “While certain sectors are certainly being threatened by economic factors, including Eskom power cuts – such as the mining industry – the IT sector is not faced with this spectre.
"The fundamental reason is that the IT sector suffers from a huge skills shortage. Companies are holding on to staff as best they can – especially the more skilled staff.
“Right now there is a relatively high level of churn in the industry as the more skilled employees job-hop for higher paying salaries. This is even dribbling down to the middle ranks as the economic downturn bites and people are becoming more focused on money – even if it means relocating to other cities, or traveling longer to work.”
Geldenhuys says that IT workers with two to six years’ experience would have at least “three job offers on the table” if they were to look for new employment.
She highlights the pressures of equity employment as a further exacerbating factor – and one of the fundamental reasons why there is little threat of retrenchment in the IT industry.
“I would estimate that as many as 20% of posts advertised by IT companies just cannot be filled because they require equity placements. This is facing pressure on the IT industry from an efficiency point of view,” she says.