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With banks upgrading trading technologies, Australia is increasingly hungry for IT professionals.

Peter Noblett, manager of Hays IT, says banks have been recruiting heavily in recent months. And with the Australian Stock Exchange soaring to record trading levels, he predicts they'll continue doing so into 2007.

"It's a very buoyant market," Noblett says. "Trading banks are buying off-the-shelf and developing new systems."

He says banks are looking for candidates with medium to high-level experience, either in the three to five-year experience range or up to 10 years or more. "They want people with a solid background," he says.

Most of the talent comes from the UK, according to Noblett. A Department of Immigration survey released this week showed that computer professionals where the biggest business immigrant group by occupation, with 3,940 migrating to Australia in 2006.

Michael Marciewicz, managing director of recruitment firm Carmichael Fisher, says major banks such as ANZ and NAB have been looking for IT professionals to help with new projects, systems upgrades and systems conversions.

He says people with knowledge of C++, C#, .NET, J2EE with SQL Server are in big demand.

"Demand for IT specialists in trading systems has been strong for the last few years, and it is continuing," he says.

Recruiters say a trading systems specialist with five to eight years' experience can expect a salary in the range of AU$110k to AU$150k, plus a bonus.

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