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NZTech Inform – inspiring the next generation

Kia ora readers,

In the wake of COVID-19, as the demand for staff with IT skills increases, I was reminded there is still plenty to do to ensure digital skills are available. One of the major work streams being developed as part of the Digital Tech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) is Skills. The challenge of bringing enough students through the system, with the right skills, is perennial and now with an increasing need to consider re-skilling, it isn’t going to get any easier.

One of the key challenges is the work readiness on course completion. For many years, the Summer of Tech internship programme has been the benchmark for providing quality work ready graduates. Currently, they have a full cohort of students and offer five good reasons for companies to use an intern. If you know of companies that need additional IT staff and would appreciate a low-risk option, please point them toward Summer of Tech.

For more complex technology challenges, there are still low cost, low risk ways to find and test the fit of your next IT professional. The ICT Graduate Schools require their Masters students to undertake a work placement as part of their course. Auckland ICT Grad School is looking to place experienced professionals for 10 weeks as part of their Masters of Information Technology. Most of these students are re-skilling and have broad work experience alongside their technology skills.

At the other end of the scale, it was pleasing to hear that NZTech member, Youth Hub, is being engaged by the Ministry of Social Development. They are helping youth across New Zealand to develop work ready skills, gain work experience and ultimately help them find a job. Employers are encouraged to showcase opportunities, find and follow emerging talent and help inspire the next generation.

Speaking of inspiring the next generation, Techweek is adding events every day. This includes Kiwi tech firms showcasing their cool tech, communities coming together to learn more about tech, and international organisations looking to New Zealand to discover what is next. We want to help highlight the innovation of Kiwi businesses. Did you use tech in a new and interesting way to connect with customers during the COVID-19 lockdown? Tell Techweek about it for your chance to win a spot on Techweek TV. Entries close 30 June, so please enter now.

Workwise, the pace is definitely starting to pick up again. My week starts with a session with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade researchers discussing APEC digital trade opportunities.
Throughout the week, I will also be working with Education New Zealand to help grow edtech exports, plus NZTE on Singapore and Digital Economic Partnership Agreement (DEPA) opportunities. I am also hosting the third Future Government Webinar, attending an advisory group for National on innovation and digital. I am also assisting Agritech New Zealand to finalise their detailed research report on the economic impact of agritech for New Zealand. 

I hope you have a productive and successful week. 

Ngā mihi

Graeme Muller


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