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Tech investment lays foundations for future economy
As part of Budget 2023, the Government will be investing over $27 million in a new funding package to advance digital technology skills and talent activities that are part of the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan (ITP).
This funding will help grow New Zealand’s tech sector workforce and equip more Kiwis to upskill and reskill in tech careers.
Funding will support the prototyping of apprenticeship-like programmes that integrate work and learning, and enable people to ‘learn while they earn’ with employers who receive support and guidance.
Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Hon Ginny Andersen, says the Government also wants to make pathways into the tech sector accessible, especially for underrepresented groups such as Māori, Pacific Peoples, women, and neurodiverse people.
The funding builds on ITP activities already delivered or underway that seek to strengthen the digital skills and talent pipeline, like the Domestic Tech Story to attract a more diverse future workforce to the tech industry, and the Software as a Service activities funded in Budget 2022.
There will be support for programmes that integrate in-school learning and work-based learning with local employers. There will also be an internship-matching service to be delivered nationwide.
Graeme Muller, CEO of NZTech, a lead partner of the ITP, says it’s great to see these investment announcements following the release of the Digital Technology Industry Transformation Plan.
“A plan with no budget isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, but the Digital ITP has now had significant investment over the last two budget cycles and we are starting to see the activation of initiatives that are supporting the growth of the tech sector, which is directly leading to more high-value jobs and exports for the New Zealand economy.”
“We know from looking at advanced economies like Germany, South Korea, Japan and Singapore that the best investments you can make in the future of your economy are in science, skills and infrastructure,” says Ginny Andersen.
“Our digital technologies sector significantly helps lift New Zealand’s productivity and wealth. In 2021, the sector contributed $7 billion towards New Zealand’s GDP and, since 2016, has grown at twice the annual rate of the wider economy.”
The Government is also backing New Zealand’s growing game development sector and has introduced a new 20 percent rebate for game development studios to better support them grow and contribute to the economy.
“The budget also included investment in tech to help make New Zealand safer, improve digital access and digital inclusion, and tech investments into other sectors, all important for the future prosperity of New Zealand,” says Graeme Muller.