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We have been doing quite a bit of work with the government recently across procurement, education, immigration and trade.
On the immigration front the changes announced last week by Minister Woodhouse are not expected to impact the tech sector. In fact, as I discussed on NBR Radio last week, the New Zealand tech sector appears to be benefitting from tightening of immigration policy around the world. A tangible example of this is the hugely successful LookSee campaign; a collaboration between WREDA, Workhere, New Zealand Immigration and NZTech. LookSee Wellington has attracted over 48,000 applicants for 100 senior tech roles in Wellington. Work is underway to ensure as many roles across New Zealand are filled by the best talent from this campaign.
However, we can’t just sit back and assume we have solved the skills shortage challenge thanks to a great marketing campaign. We need to maintain a strong focus on developing home grown talent. For this reason, the work that NZTech is doing with NZRise and IT Professionals within the Digital Curricula reference group is also critical. There is still an assumption from some quarters that these new skills will only help those wanting jobs in the tech sector. One of our roles is to ensure that the teachers and academics fully comprehend the breadth of technology change. When a five year old leaves school in 2030 they will need digital skills simply to be a productive member of society, regardless of what career they pursue.
We continue to work with the GCIO team on improving government procurement. At times this can be a slow and frustrating process, but positive in that forward movement continues. This week we have our regular meeting with Minister Dunne where we will discuss New Zealand’s role as chair of the D5 and how to maximise that, as well addressing the cost to industry of procurement processes.
On the trade front, I will be joining the new Ministerial Advisory Group on Trade in a week to help the Minister of Trade and his team develop an understanding of the needs of the tech sector as they work to increase free trade agreements.
Having just written this, it is clear to me why I am on a flight to Wellington every week and I haven’t even touched on MBIE, NZTE and Callaghan. That can be an update for another time.
Enjoy the short week (again!)
All the best
PS: Day 100 tomorrow!
Join Canterbury Tech on 9 May for Blockchain and Crypto-currencies; the new playground for entrepreneurs and what you need to know.
Registrations open this week for ShadowTech Day. We are looking for mentors in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. This is your chance to inspire the next generation of women into tech.
The Science and Hardware incubator, Level Two, is hosting an Open Evening on 10 May in Auckland. Alumni companies have raised over $500m in venture capital, taking their local solutions global. Tour the facilities that Rocket Lab and LanzaTech sprang from.
Attend the 2017 Gibbons Lecture series, starting on 4 May in Auckland. This year, lectures address aspects of the steps towards singularity, artificial intelligence and its impact. The first lecture discusses AI: From Aristotle to Deep Learning Machines.
With a widening gender gap, is an increased commitment to diversity in tech needed? Read what NZTech Women’s Dil Khosa says about closing the gap, addressing bias and everyday inspiration.
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