Debt's scarce, but infrastructure's powering

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Forget the credit crunch - infrastructure recruitment is continuing as if it never happened.

"Everyone's hiring in that space at the moment," says Melissa Tal at recruiter Michael Page. Local and global banks are chasing Macquarie and Babcock & Brown's lead.

Others in the sector agree: "We definitely see it as an important part of our future," says Mark John, head of infrastructure and utilities at Westpac. "It's an asset class that's global with significant demand, with many clients involved in offshore infrastructure projects. Australia has the skills. We need human capital in those offshore areas and we will move people, plus recruit, to fill the need."

"It is a particular focus for us," says Mark Siebert, head of project finance at NAB Capital. "We want senior people with legal, accounting and engineering backgrounds, and postgraduate finance, but we're mostly hiring juniors because we're building our teams."

Cameron Robertson, Deutsche Bank's head of infrastructure and utilities, says,

"Deutsche and many other global banks have a very material presence in the space," and adds that there is lots of hiring at all levels. "There is a huge shortage of people with engineering skills, especially with finance. There has been a slowdown in some sectors, but infrastructure is so diverse, it has been largely insulated."

Christine Kwan at recruiter Derwent Executive confirms there are plenty of hires at associate and director levels. Tal says a good analyst gets AU$60k-$90k, a senior manager $120k, an AD $150k-$180k and a director $250k+. Bonuses vary widely.

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