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Canberra professional services staff in high demand
Driven by the nation’s best-educated workforce, and with the lowest unemployment and highest average incomes, Canberra’s flourishing economy is unique in Australia. Smaller businesses are increasingly keen to fill skilled professional services vacancies in industries including law, accounting, engineering, architecture, ICT and medicine, competing with large multinational firms and government organisations for those workers.
More than half of Canberra’s workforce are employed by private businesses. This means that as well as the mainstay large firms who typically seek big government contracts, there are growing numbers of SMEs offering specialised professional services. Many of these businesses have an agility which allows them to support both the public sector and the multitude of non-government industries which operate in the nation’s booming capital.
Private sector growth driven by SMEs
The great shape of the ACT’s economy is triggering growth in traditional professional areas such as law, accounting and advisory or consultancy services. As those businesses grow, the need exists for a continuation of services, boosting the private sector further.
Outside of government workforces in Canberra, the professional services companies who typically grow a lot are often more of a medium-sized enterprise, with the agility to interact with other commercial SMEs. The ability of these smaller to mid-sized professional services firms to be flexible and react to industry changes quickly puts them in a good position to benefit in a growth market.
For instance, you might have builders benefiting from a housing boom or infrastructure project, providing advice and consultancy work. While the ‘big boys’ might be focused on working with the government departments, these SMEs take up the new and developing work and can offer flexible services.
Top professional services areas for job seekers
While the federal government and its associated departments are Canberra’s largest collective employer, many other industries seek high-quality professional staff. There are opportunities for professional services businesses to provide their expertise to a wide variety of local companies outside of government.
Tax, legal and management consulting advisors are among the areas Michael Page is consistently working to find recruits for, along with ICT consultants. Excellent job prospects also exist for engineering, construction and estimation staff who can support the ACT’s major light rail project and its associated construction growth.
The property market is strong on the East coast of Australia, particularly the South East. Canberra is part of that so there's demand for property market sales professionals, property lawyers and commercial lawyers where business are bought, sold and developed.
Because a lot of top-tier firms in Canberra are set up with a focus on winning government work, opportunities are on the table for smaller businesses to be very successful in servicing the private sector. This is the real driver of professional services strength in the SME category, because the agility and flexibility of those smaller businesses means they can adapt to economic changes and demands quickly.
Competition among employers for talent
High-quality candidates in the ACT are spoilt for choice when it comes to getting great roles, and this means employers will try to outmanoeuvre and outbid one another for the best staff.
We’ve got a really positive economic situation, so we're seeing a lot of SMEs employing new staff and they’re all looking to attract the best talent into their business. It’s a challenge for businesses of all sizes, but SMEs may have the upper hand when it comes to offering employment packages.
Businesses wanting to compete for staff can entice recruits not just with financial benefits. Offering a package which fits with their lifestyle and offers growth and development in a company where their work will be highly valued, is something smaller businesses are able to do more consistently.
Prosperity in Canberra a classic case of multiplier effect
Canberra’s economy shows a classic case of how increased spending has resulted in greater income and consumption across the board. Revenues are up because there's a lot of work, a lot of employment and the budget's in surplus.
The government are stimulating more of the infrastructure economy in the ACT through the current light rail project, and that sort of government work feeds directly into industry.
As you get a prosperous town as a result of that sort of work, other things happen. House prices go up, construction increases, and more people move into town to support the need for workers.
Canberra is a textbook multiplier effect with professional services an integral part of the economy.
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