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NZTech Inform – more border exemptions!

Another week and another sector gains a border exemption! The Government is allowing border exemptions for 300 needed teachers, but it doesn’t make sense to me why the border restrictions are so limited. The demand for highly skilled digital workers looks like it is reaching a crisis point.

Our Critical Workers Survey closes on Friday and is helping us to build a case to attempt to make it easier to access scarce tech talent. To date our survey shows 235 respondents currently have almost 2,000 open jobs. Fifty four have applied for 145 visas with a 40 percent success rate. Due to the skills shortage, 60 percent of respondents report not being able to take on new work or launch new products. Twenty percent are unable to complete existing projects. Not surprisingly, health and wellbeing are a growing concern with increasing reports of stress.

We still need more survey responses. If you haven’t already please take five minutes to let us know your skills needs.

Meanwhile, the Government immigration policy making it hard to access tech talent is not well aligned with commitments to spend $44 million to increase SME’s uptake of digital technologies, or $45 million for a Queenstown based research and innovation hub or the $2.1 million to increase the scale of the national research computing capabilities due to increased demand. Who, I wonder, is going to do all this work?

Today, I am in Wellington spending time with the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) team to refine our narrative so we can get it in front of the Cabinet Ministers, sooner rather than later. This afternoon, along with colleagues from IT Professionals and NZRise, I will have an hour with Minister Clark to reinforce these points.

Next month, we host our Annual General Meeting and this means election season is now upon us. To continue building on our success, it is essential to have a purposeful Board. Nominations close on Thursday, so please consider a role or nominate someone who can make an impact. Everything you need to know is here.

Ngā mihi

Graeme Muller

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