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These workers will see the biggest pay rises in 2022

Australians are in for bigger pay rises next year, with new data revealing bosses across the country plan to hand out higher wages to retain and attract new staff.

A survey of over 1000 Australian companies by Mercer shows more than 93 per cent of organisations are planning to raise salaries by a median of 3 per cent in 2022.

In 2021, salaries across these companies increased by a median of 2.5 per cent nationally, according to Mercer.

The ABS has said national wages growth has been 1.7 per cent over the year to June.

Mercer market insights and survey data business leader Chi Tran said the forecaste salary increases show bosses are “optimistic” about the pandemic recovery now that lockdowns in NSW and Victoria are over.

She said bosses are attempting to attract and retain workers, especially after many organisations resorted to salary freezes “just to keep their businesses above water” during 2020.

“In order for the companies to grow, they need to invest back into their people,” Ms Tran said.

“We’re seeing, definitely, an uptick [in wages] across the board.”

The Reserve Bank also said last week that an unwinding of wage freezes should boost pay packets over the next year.

“The medium-term outlook for private sector wages growth is stronger,” it said in the November statement on monetary policy.

“[It reflects our] upgrade to labour market forecasts and the further absorption of spare capacity [in the labour market].”

Highest-paying industries

As the world continued to digitise, Mercer found jobs in digital industries have already recorded the highest salary increases since COVID began.

Industries that have benefited the most from higher salaries are identified by Mercer as:

  • Sales, marketing, and product management
  • IT, telecom, and internet
  • Engineering and science

Median wages have increased the most among jobs such as digital/internet marketing (9.5 per cent), information systems architecture (8 per cent) and new media user experience design (10.5 per cent).

Ms Tran said the pandemic has permanently “lifted the benchmark” for annual salary increases.

She noted pay rises have been “hovering around 2.5 per cent” across the industries surveyed by Mercer for at least three years pre-pandemic.

“[Since the pandemic] has accelerated growth, and organisations are investing back in their people, I do think that the 3 per cent is here to stay,” Ms Tran said.

Wages growth in excess of 3 per cent will be needed to offset rising cost of living pressures, with the Reserve Bank predicting national annual wage growth to rise to 3 per cent in 2023.

The official measure of wages growth tracked by the ABS has run lower than 2 per cent in annual terms during the pandemic, with this data including both private and public sector workers.

However, Ms Tran said higher pay alone is not enough to attract and retain employees.

She said organisations have also had to adjust to the new norm of flexible working arrangements.

“Every organisation that I’ve talked to … know that returning back five days a week is no longer possible,” she said.

“Every employee is expecting … having a hybrid working model, where you spend a few days in the office [and] a few days from home.”

She said organisations are also focusing more on “wellness” as fatigue and lockdowns have taken a toll on employees.

It’s a job seeker’s market

Despite the wage increases, Mercer’s survey shows 43 per cent of organisations reported having difficulty hiring or retaining employees.

Ms Tran said one of the biggest factors leading to difficulty in employee retention is closed borders, which limited talent pools within states and territories.

With less interstate and international options, companies escalated headhunting and offered higher wages, giving job seekers the upper hand and increasing employee turnover, she said.

Pay rise
Strict border closures and lack of lockdowns is leaving Western Australian workers richer than the rest. Source: Mercer

Workers and job seekers in Western Australia have lucked out, as specialised roles and sectors within the state are more highly paid than anywhere else in the country.

In particular, Western Australian jobs in the engineering and science fields average at 8.3 per cent higher than the national median for these categories.

Ms Tran said Western Australia’s economic growth “boomed” due to the state undergoing few lockdowns compared to the rest of the country.

The economic boom coupled with the border closure-induced narrow talent pool has driven up wages in the state, she said.

“[Western Australia has] got more roles than … resources to fill them,” she said.

“So that [leads to] higher premiums to fill those roles.”


Boston Consulting Group promotes four to managing director

Four of BCG’s Australian leaders – Daniel Selikowitz, Julian King, Phillip Benedetti, and Simon Pitt – have been elevated to managing director and partner level..

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has made four managing director promotions across its Sydney and Melbourne offices; Daniel Selikowitz, Simon Pitt, Phillip Benedetti, and Julian King, who have all been with the strategy consulting firm and its data & analytics offshoot BCG Gamma from between seven years and over a decade.

Daniel Selikowitz
Based out of Sydney, Selikowitz has been with Boston Consulting Group for altogether ten years across two stints in Sydney, Chicago and New York, joining its partnership in 2019 (‘managing director and partner’ is the equity-level step up on the firm’s leadership rungs). Currently he serves as a leader of BCG’s Principal Investors & Private Equity and Public Sector practices in the Asia Pacific. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Phillip Benedetti
Melbourne-based Benedetti serves as the Head of Innovation & Corporate Strategy for BCG in Australia and New Zealand, and is also a core member of the Financial Services and Healthcare practices. A masters-holder in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge, Benedetti has been with BCG for a shade over a decade, including a year in New York and two secondments at ANZ as an executive manager in group strategy.

Simon Pitt
Having joined the firm in 2010 and been steadily promoted since, Pitt focuses on strategy, operating model and transformational change for clients in the mining & industrials sectors as part of the firm’s industrial goods leadership team, with previous extended international projects performed out of BCG offices in Asia, Latin America and Europe. He holds a Masters of Science in Economics from The London School of Economics.

Julian King
Previously an executive director at Pottinger, King joined BCG’s Gamma wing at the start of 2015, where he specialises in delivering transformational advanced analytics projects, as well as designing and implementing solutions around artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics and advanced statistical methods. Based out of Sydney, King holds a PhD in Astrophysics from University of New South Wales.

The four managing director promotions follow three managing director appointments made by BCG in June.


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Wipro and Micro Focus launch AWS cloud migration lab in Sydney

A new cloud migration lab has been launched in Western Sydney as a joint collaboration between IT consulting firms Wipro and Micro Focus.

Established in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the ‘Legacy Migration and Modernisation Lab’ will offer a hands-on demonstration to Australian and New Zealand companies seeking to optimise their capabilities for the cloud.

“We are excited to collaborate with AWS and Micro Focus to launch this lab and enable our customers who continue to rely on legacy systems to drive core business functions, simplify, and modernise applications to the cloud,” said Satish Wadhwa, Vice President at Wipro. “This lab will showcase our joint offerings to modernise the legacy ecosystem and help clients continually transform their expensive and monolithic platforms.”

Based at Wipro’s AWS Launchpad in Parramatta, the new lab, in addition to helping clients reduce operational costs, mitigate application-modernisation risks, and become more agile, will serve as a training ground for testing mainframe app-modernisation scenarios, allowing businesses to conduct training and demonstrate proof of concepts in real-time. The hosts say that these advanced capabilities will allow customers to innovate faster.

The new offering has evolved from an existing partnership, noted Brent Butchard, ANZ Sales Director at Micro Focus. “Micro Focus and Wipro have a long history of delivering mainframe-modernisation projects in Australia and New Zealand. Our co-investment in a local mainframe modernisation lab builds on our relationship, and will help clients improve the time to value associated with their mainframe modernisation and transformation.”

The establishment of the local lab follows Wipro’s recent announcement of a $1 billion investment into cloud technologies, acquisitions and partnerships over the next three years under the banner of a newly launched ‘Wipro FullStride Cloud Services’ practice, which brings together the firm’s existing cloud capabilities underpinned by almost 80,000 cloud professionals. The gambit also follows a similar $3 billion cloud investment by Accenture.

“Today, cloud adoption is at the core of any IT transformation initiative, and our clients have been turning to Wipro for help with this. With our $1 billion investment in cloud capabilities we are in a far stronger position to simplify, orchestrate and accelerate the cloud journey for our clients,” said CEO Thierry Delaporte, a Capgemini veteran who took over the helm at Wipro in the middle of last year.

The Indian-origin firm also noted that Australia and New Zealand form one part of six focus regions that comprise Wipro’s APMEA Strategic Market Unit, having already built up its local presence over the past two decades on the back of local acquisitions such as subsidiary Designit’s pick-up of Syfte.

Wipro has also been busy in the M&A space at the global level of late, including the $1.5 billion purchase of financial services management consultancy Capco.


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