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New Zealand desperate for skilled tech staff

Tech skills shortages continue to plague New Zealand’s greater tech sector, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

As a result, the issue is consuming a substantial amount of people’s time and efforts to improve the situation. This includes addressing the issue from both an educational and immigration perspective, Muller says.

“Unfortunately there is no quick fix or silver bullet for this issue and it’s a phenomenon being felt globally.

“The good news is that it is now much easier for global tech talent to access visas and residency in New Zealand.

“From an immigration perspective almost all tech roles are on the government’s new immigration Green List, which helps create an easier pathway to residency.

The Green List is a list of a limited number of highly skilled roles that are in shortage in New Zealand. It makes it easier for NZ employers to attract and hire migrants in highly skilled and hard to fill roles. Migrants working in the Green List roles have a clear pathway to residence in New Zealand.

Employers will need to be accredited and they can learn more about the Green List here.

Meanwhile, Muller says work is underway to encourage more students into tech courses and career pathways. Including establishing what barriers need to be removed to help more people transition into valuable tech roles?

Following COVID other countries are also experiencing a severe shortage of skilled employees. 

In the UK a new immigration system has made it easier for UK businesses to fill positions with qualified professionals from outside of the country.

Tech workers are also in high demand in Canada. Job postings reveal many opportunities for software developers, data scientists and other workers in the IT sector.

There are more jobs than there are qualified people to do them. In fact, Canadian a tech report last year estimated the country’s employers would need to fill an additional 250,000 tech jobs by 2025.

The situation is just the same in Aotearoa. Muller says New Zealand’s tech sector has over 113,000 employees and each new tech sector job creates 4.8 other new jobs.  And tech jobs continue to grow with investment in early stage tech firms growing at 48 percent in 2020.

“New Zealand’s tech sector contributed $18.8 billion to GDP in 2021 and the average tech salary last year was over $100,000. Last year, New Zealand’s tech sector exported $8 billion globally as Kiwi tech exporters’ overseas sales grew 14.4 percent.

“NZTech has grown to represent 20 tech associations with over 1800 members who employ more than 12 percent of the New Zealand workforce. These organisations are working together to help create a better future for New Zealand underpinned by top tech talent.”For further information contact NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller on 021 02520767 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Photo: Graeme Muller
NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.