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NZTech Inform – emerging issues for our economic recovery
Until COVID-19 struck, large New Zealand businesses and fast growing tech firms were bringing in thousands of highly skilled digital professionals each year. The local education system has been able to produce approximately 5000 new computer science graduates a year, but hi-tech firms used the international market for advanced skills such as machine learning and enterprise architecture. The international market provided talent with experience, and this has complimented the local skills pipeline and supported New Zealand’s economic growth.
Now, with borders closed, it is no surprise that digital skills supply is a significant emerging issue for New Zealand’s recovery. To better understand the current landscape and forecast demand, NZTech, in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and industry partners, have launched a national digital skills demand survey. Your help is essential, as this information will support the development of better education pathways for the talented staff needed in the tech sector. It will also inform the immigration settings and help ensure critical highly skilled digital workers can start entering New Zealand.
Please participate in this important research and have your organisation complete the 15 minute survey here.
NZTech members have alerted us to another emerging issue, this time in the R&D tax credit space. As firms prepare to transition from Growth Grants to the tax credit system the definition of scientific uncertainty may be problematic. This was raised with the Minister during the consultation phase and we were assured that there would be a review, as the intent is to increase R&D investment, not decrease it.
Please bring any tax credit system issue you are facing to our immediate attention, so we can advocate for an early review. We need to aggregate the market experience and represent the sector on your behalf. The last thing any government will want to do is send a message that software R&D jobs are not a priority.
Last week, I hosted a discussion with MFAT and NZTE about the world’s first digital trade agreement (DEPA), between New Zealand, Singapore and Chile. This is an important opportunity for New Zealand to lead the way in global digital trade policy. Getting it right will open the global market for SME’s, protect consumer rights and support digital inclusion. Learn more about DEPA here.
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