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NZ's First Tech Career Accelerator Launches in Auckland

With a mission to grow NZ’s tech talent to meet demand, NZ’s first tech career accelerator, Mission Ready HQ, launches in Auckland.

In 2018, over 3200 new tech jobs were created in New Zealand, a comparable influx compared to the 2830 in 2017. The tech industry is booming. It is the fastest growing industry in New Zealand but employers struggle to find talent with relevant skills. They have even been forced in some cases to broaden their search offshore, yet international tech sectors are also experiencing this crunch with over 81,000 ICT jobs predicted in Australia by 2022, while the US estimates 20 million new tech jobs over two decades.

In direct response to this growing skills shortage, an innovative and disruptive tech skills development venture, Mission Ready HQ (MRHQ), has just launched in Auckland. As NZ’s first ‘tech career accelerator’, Mission Ready HQ is reinventing the career pathway into tech. “Studying for 3 years before getting into a tech job, won’t address this gap,” says Mission Director, Diana Sharma, “NZ has seen little change in education and training to close the talent gap. To keep NZ’s tech industry competitive on the international stage, we need a smarter way to develop our tech workforce for the future, now. That’s why we have designed our 14-week programmes around our inflow skills development approach. This fosters a holistic approach to learning and growth that blends real workplace experience and projects with accelerated learning models.”

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Mission Ready HQ’s inflow skills development approach sees their programme candidates directly working with tech employers including Spark, Centrality, Fusion Networks, Crunch and Vyne Digital. This is key to their candidates’ successful pathway into tech careers as they develop new skills while solving real problems with real clients right away; they gain the experience, industry connections, networking, referrals and most importantly a career launchpad that they would otherwise not experience until they get their first job.

Their candidates agree, that the MRHQ model is unique. Sam Davis, a current MRHQ candidate who started in November states “My knowledge has been expanded to the max and the connections are so unique that they could not have happened without Diana and Alan [Kan, Co-founder].”

Another aspect that sets MRHQ apart from educational institutes and training providers is their guiding mission to address a growing social need. “There is a skill shortage in tech yet there is a mismatch in the economy as there is still a significant number of New Zealanders that are either unemployed, under employed or face an uncertain future as careers evolve and change. Further to that, 1 in 7 New Zealanders are living in financial hardship and this needs to change.” says Sharma, “That’s why we offer a unique Pay It Forward model for those who would otherwise struggle to get back on their feet.” The Southern Initiative (TSI) and the Ministry of Youth and Development have also backed MRHQ by assisting in offering fully funded youth scholarships.

MRHQ’s first intake started in November and are now recruiting new candidates and business partners for 2019. Sharma explains, “Our vision is to create a better world by developing and coaching talented, creative individuals and guiding them into exciting tech-enabled careers with organisations that care. We are already expanding our organisational partnerships, so we expect to create even more great opportunities in the new year.”

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