Candle ICT New South Wales general manager Peter Zonnevylle believes the bad press that IT has had following the dot-com collapse has caused the large decrease in graduates.
"A lot of people jumped in to study IT when it was booming but by the time they finished their degrees we were in a slump. Now that we need the people again, they aren't there. I think we're going to feel that pain for a while and I think flexibility is required," he said
Zonnevylle urged caution for those looking abroad to fill the gaps.
"While we need to be flexible enough to bring in some professionals with certain skill sets to fill niche areas of demand, we need to be careful about it. Ideally we should be looking at transferring these skills to local people. A more innovative and sustainable approach is needed."
Companies need also to be more flexible in the way they recruit graduates and recognize that many degrees now include IT components, Zonnevylle said.