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ICT grad school much-needed for Wellington


ICT grad school much-needed for Wellington

The Government’s announcement that it will invest in an ICT graduate school in Wellington is excellent news and a much-needed initiative, says regional economic development agency Grow Wellington.

The Government announced yesterday that it will invest $28.6 million over the next four years to support three ICT graduate schools in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The schools aim to address skills shortages in the ICT industry.

Grow Wellington says Wellington’s burgeoning tech industry needs more and more skilled ICT staff.

The economic development agency is finalising a regional workforce strategy with a focus on growing Wellington’s workforce in priority sectors such as ICT where there are skill shortages.

“We’ve been working with tertiary education providers in the region – Victoria and Massey universities, WelTec, Whitireia and the Open Polytechnic – to respond to the industry’s needs for a skilled graduate ICT workforce,” says Adrian Gregory, the agency’s General Manager of Innovation and Workforce.

“Grow Wellington’s regional workforce strategy includes actions that will match our homegrown talent with demand for skills, and retain those skills in Wellington for the region’s businesses.”

Grow Wellington is also working to attract talented people and investment to the region, having visited the United States, Australia and the UK this year.

Linda Sissons Chief Executive of the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) supports the Government’s investment into ICT in Wellington.

“We’ve seen very strong demand from local employers for our graduates but there is still more scope to meet the industry’s skills needs. We welcome this initiative and the opportunity to partner with other institutions under the auspices of Grow Wellington,” says Linda Sissons.

Mr Gregory says a graduate school in ICT will add to these initiatives to ensure Wellington has the skilled workforce it needs.

“You’ve got the likes of Xero and Trade Me as well as a host of smaller firms in the region that are crying out for high-skilled people. The Government’s announcement of a grad school in Wellington is welcome news for the tech industry.”

The Wellington region has the highest concentration of web and digital-based companies per capita in New Zealand and Wellingtonians are twice as likely to work in ICT as those in other regions. Grow Wellington estimates the number of businesses in Wellington's ICT sector at just over 3300, up from 2300 in 2001.

ends

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