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Three Leading Wellington Companies Combine Forces To Deliver Game-changing Careers Platform

A new website to help New Zealanders forge career pathways and find work is being designed and built by three leading Wellington companies.

Digital agency Springload, data science consultancy Nicholson Consulting, and cultural creative consultancy Indigenous Design & Innovation Aotearoa (IDIA), have partnered together with the Tertiary Education Commission to deliver a new online careers planning solution.

It will be freely available to all New Zealanders.

In the wake of COVID-19 and an economic recession, many New Zealanders are out of work and looking for new opportunities. The online career planning solution aims to shift the focus of career pathways in Aotearoa New Zealand from climbing a single job ladder to helping individuals understand how their skills could be applied to a variety of situations throughout their lives, and help them navigate their careers.

“It will be one source for all quality career information to support New Zealanders in navigating the rapidly changing world of work,” says Ian Lee, Deputy Chief Executive Strategy and Design at Tertiary Education Commission.

“The service will support secondary school students to transition into tertiary education and training, and job seekers to see how their skills can transfer into other roles, helping them identify opportunities they may not have considered otherwise.”

The project brings together a multicultural team who collectively feel they represent the future workforce of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We also believe our consortium has the largest team of Māori commercial digital designers and data scientists currently working together,” says Miriame Barbarich, IDIA co-founder.

In order to be truly useful to all New Zealanders, and reach those who need it most, the website will be data-driven and equity-centred. The team is particularly aware of the disparate education and employment outcomes experienced by Māori and Pasifika. Building solutions to eliminate barriers that lead to these disparities is a core focus of the project.

“The opportunities to leverage data science methods like AI and machine learning for the online learning tool are large, varied, and exciting. Key to this is respecting the mana of the people represented in the data we work with,” says Kylie Reiri, CEO of Nicholson Consulting.

The team will design, build and test the platform with a wide range of people throughout the different stages, including Māori, Pasifika, people living with disabilities, and a range of ages.

They will also design, build and test the website with people from a variety of career circumstances, from students entering the workforce for the first time, to those seeking to change their current education and employment pathway, to people in corrections facilities thinking about their employment options on release.

"In our approach we use culture-centred and human-centred design methodologies, ensuring that the people who will use the tool are front-of-mind or involved in the process at every stage,” says Lauren Skogstad, Experience Director at Springload.

The multi-year project will happen in phases, with an initial website to be released April 2021, and further iterations to follow.

In the new post-covid world this career planning solution will be a guiding tool to help all New Zealanders think outside the box, find work they might not have thought of before, and be inspired to take the next step in their careers.

About Springload

Founded by Bron Thomson in 2002, Springload is Wellington’s largest independently owned digital agency. Born out of a simple principle to be nice and do good work, the 75+ strong team designs and builds world-class websites, apps, digital experiences, and research pieces that have a measurable, positive impact on people and the planet. Learn more at www.springload.co.nz

About Nicholson Consulting

Nicholson Consulting is a medium-sized, multi-disciplinary analytics consultancy, with a big footprint, and a bigger heart. We provide specialised analytical solutions that are easy to understand, implement and maintain. People are at the centre of everything we do; our staff, our whanau, our communities. Data and analytics are simply the tools we use to empower better lives. Find out more at www.nicholsonconsulting.co.nz

About IDIA

IDIA (Indigenous Design & Innovation Aotearoa) are cultural designers, change makers and innovators looking to influence and design global change through an indigenous lens. We support indigenous growth and excellence in the areas of design, communication, technology and innovation – through design research, strategy and best practice, product, service and solution design, and delivery. Read more about IDIA at www.idia.nz

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