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E-commerce explosion fuels need for staff

As the interest in e-commerce skyrockets, so does the need for skilled staff.

Perth is already witnessing the pressure of demand outstripping supply and Pretzel Logic is one company finding it difficult to source enough people.

Managing director Steve Pretzel said there was a critical shortage of skilled people, particularly in graphic design for the web and application development such as database programming.

Mr Pretzel also said the universities and tertiary institutions were still not addressing areas of greatest demand.

“To be fair, this industry is moving so fast it’s impossible to keep pace,” Mr Pretzel said.

At Pretzel Logic there are only two staff members who do not hold a tertiary degree of some sort – the receptionist and the managing director.

Mr Pretzel also believes that the cost of web development will progressively increase as the shortage of skilled practitioners begins to bite.

Pretzel Logic has seen its staff numbers increase from seven to forty-two in less than two years – with an average age of twenty-six – and its main form of recruitment is via online technology.

“We run a small space ad in the newspaper pointing people to our web site where they can apply for a position using an online form,” Mr Pretzel said.

It may appear a contradiction but, although these young web wizards may be in demand, the industry is not yet considered a high paying profession.

“The desire to get a foot in the door combined with the work environment are the things that are drawing these people into the industry,” he said.

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