Aussie ITers "better than Brits"

IT wizards from Oz are taking IT contract jobs in the farthest corners of the UK because local ITers refuse to travel - and the antipodeans are reportedly...

IT wizards from Oz are taking IT contract jobs in the farthest corners of the UK because local ITers refuse to travel - and the antipodeans are reportedly more responsible, mature and committed.

This is the view of an IT recruitment firm and an employer in Scotland who find they can get people from across the world to go to Inverness but cannot persuade someone from Edinburgh to work 45 miles away in Glasgow.

Jobs firm Careercare believes more IT people from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will now come to the UK for jobs following the Government's relaxation of work permit rules for areas of skills shortages.

"Antipodeans show the 'get up and go' that the IT industry needs," says Careercare managing director Alan Smith. "They're enthusiastic and offer both practical skills and experience at the same time.

"In our experience it is harder to get a guy from Edinburgh to move to Glasgow than it is to get an Australian to work in Inverness. These people are attracted to some of the most remote parts of Scotland and are willing to work anywhere."

Graeme Leiper, production and technology director at Integriti, which supplies corrosion and vibration monitoring systems, echoes these views.

"Antipodeans are typically looking for three to six months' work, and this suits us well, as we work on a project basis," he says. "They are free to travel and are attracted by the outdoor life, so getting them here to Dingwall, near Inverness, is not an issue.

"They tend to be highly skilled people who have held senior positions in their own countries, and they are not afraid of responsibility. In comparison with UK people of the same age, antipodeans are more responsible, more committed and more mature."

Smith adds, "When we offer jobs at Integriti to UK contractors most have no desire to work in Dingwall and want something a bit closer to home - but we have placed three Australians and a South African there in the last 12 months alone."

Aussie contractor Stuart Richardson, a 27-year-old software engineering graduate, wanted to work in Scotland. "I wanted somewhere which also offered outdoor sporting opportunities, preferably involving mountains," he says.

"I now go kayaking just about every weekend, and when I'm not doing that or working, I go hill walking, so Dingwall is perfect for me."

Leiper says, "With offices in Aberdeen, London, Houston and Calgary as well as Dingwall, we make a point of keeping in contact with contractors as they move on. If, as they travel the world, there is an opportunity for them to work for us again then we have someone who knows our systems, which is a great bonus."

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