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NZTech Inform – addressing talent issues!

Have you been trying to recruit staff? Having challenges accessing talent? Difficulties with immigration pathways? We are working hard to address these issues and need your input.

Last week, I visited Palmerston North to catch up with the rapidly emerging ManawaTech community, the most recent addition to our New Zealand Tech Alliance. There are now 90 tech companies in Manawatū and most of them are trying to hire people. Some are emerging export success stories, but many are helping local firms with digital transformation. When I asked what their biggest challenge was, the unanimous answer was access to talent.

Likewise when I recently attended a roundtable discussion hosted by NZTech, IDC and IBM with a dozen CEO’s and Country Managers from the largest IT service providers in New Zealand. Many of these companies are global powerhouses with hundreds of thousands of staff.  These firms are driving the digital transformation of our largest corporations and public sector organisations. When I asked what their biggest challenge was, the unanimous answer was access to talent.

During Techweek, I had the privilege of joining a meeting with Minister Clark and a small number of tech leaders from some of our country’s biggest SaaS and GaaS (Gaming as a Service) companies. These companies are attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and driving phenomenal export growth for New Zealand. When the Minister asked what their biggest challenge was, the unanimous answer was access to talent.

Everyday in the news, we hear how much pressure our economy is under with regard to accessing talent. Adjustments are made to allow more low wage workers into the country, however, for unknown reasons, it still remains difficult to get experienced tech people into the country. Last month, NZTech wrote to the Minister of Immigration and received a reply that there should be no issues as tech workers are allowed in. Obviously, there are issues.

For this reason, today we have launched a survey to capture the specific issues so we can work with Immigration to enable easier, faster access to the tech talent needed to support New Zealand’s digital transformation and economic recovery. Please make sure you respond so we have the data needed to enable these improvements.

Please complete the Critical Worker Border Exemption Survey here.

Ngā mihi
Graeme Muller


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