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World wide app industry set to take flight in Hamilton


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World wide app industry set to take flight in Hamilton - First app school to open

New Zealand's first professional training programme for would-be iOS App developers starts in Hamilton on 3rd December.

NZ's most prolific Apps company MEA Mobile best known globally for developing iSupr8 have partnered with Prima Learning Ltd, to open the country's first APP school, entirely dedicated to app development.

"One rationale for starting New Zealand's first app development school with Prima is because MEA Mobile, along with other commercial outfits in this field, can not find enough experienced people to fill the roles available" Says MEA Mobile Director, Rodney MacFarlane.

Stats released last week show NZ's unemployment rates at record highs yet companies such as MEA Mobile have roles available but not enough proficient App programmers to fill them. "App School bridges this gap perfectly", says Mr MacFarlane.

New Zealand is a long way behind in providing opportunities to train and up skill on one of the world's major technologies – Apple applications,” said Prima's General Manager, Wayne Lim. “To date there have been no comprehensive training courses in New Zealand for people to acquire the skills of app development".

“So, while some good apps have been developed in New Zealand, there is a serious lack of capability which means there are some great career opportunities for people who are interested in this technology.”

He said that app developers working in New Zealand have taken the time off work and gone overseas to teach themselves or learned their skills working overseas.

“There are training courses in most aspects of ICT but apps are a whole new game – and it's a game that has become a massive worldwide industry that as a country we should be more active in,” said Mr Lim.

“Apps are today's toolkit for everything, he says. Ignoring apps is no longer an option and while app strategy is highly dependent on the type of business, the importance of optimising websites for iPhone is now universal. "From many global studies, users are much more likely to purchase using their phone" he continues.

“There are over 5 billion mobile phones in the world. Of those 1 billion are smartphones and that's increasing by 1 million users every day,” said Mr Lim.

And the smartphone market is only part of the total app market. iPads and other tablet computers are also app based and the market for those is just beginning to explode.

Mr Lim said the course was structured primarily for people who were already familiar with computer coding technologies and who want to expand their skills or move into new jobs in app development.

“There is a real shortage of people with these skills in this country.”

“The students on the 9 week course will create one or more apps ready for the market,” Mr Lim said. “They will have the support of MEA Mobile to give them real world experience of app development right through to making it available in the iTunes App Store.”

The 9 week full time course course runs through to February 2013. “The timing allows interested University/Institute of Technology students and staff to attend the course outside of their other study or work commitments” says Wayne. "The course also targets the commercial industry where employers struggle to find a reputable Apps training programme without having to send staff overseas" he continues.

The course will be based on the iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS.

Mr Lim said the course, which costs $6,500, had to be self-funding as there is currently no Government money available to support it.

“The job market for people with the coding skills needed to build apps is pretty strong at the moment,” he said. “Anybody who is looking for a future career in this field really needs to have skills in app development. It is the way of the future, and this is an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in a short period of time.”

Mr Lim is anticipating an exciting future for the iOS course in app development, and similar courses in the Android and Microsoft platforms are being considered for 2013.

“The demand is certainly there for people who have the skills. Now we can move into filling those demands”

The course is still open for enrolments. To register or for more information go to www.appschool.co.nz or call 0508 532 764.

- ends -

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