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NZTech Event For Teachers Crucial For New Zealand’s Future

ShadowTech Teachers, a game-changing programme for teachers run by NZTech and supported by the Ministry of Education, is taking teachers, the key influencers of students, into tech firms to see first hand exciting tech careers.

It is an opportunity to showcase the tech world and for teachers to return to the classroom and lay a path for students to get into tech after they leave school.

The event enables teachers to understand how to connect their local digital technology curriculum with real world experience, and what is required to work in the tech ecosystem.

The Digital Skills for our Digital Future survey released last month found declining levels of student interest in computer science subjects. Over the past five years the number of students doing NCEA technology standards has been decreasing 2% a year.

The event follows on from NZTech’s ShadowTech for girls which has taken place in recent years, putting hundreds of schoolgirls into top tech teams in companies, such as IBM, Deloitte, Xero, Air NZ, Genesis Energy and Auckland Transport, for a day.

The event is being held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Rotorua, Palmerston North and Tauranga.

“Most teachers in school have had no exposure to digital tech jobs making it hard to teach the digital technology curriculum ,” NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

“Almost 80 percent of digital tech teachers in schools have never worked or experienced how tech is used in industry, so it is difficult for them to inspire and motivate students to follow a career in tech unless they know more about it.

“They will learn first-hand how tech is used today across industries and is part of most careers.

“Teachers who experience the programme will be able to talk to students about how important collaboration and other soft skills like communication are for tech roles, and be able to give them real examples of what they have experienced.

“It will give teachers an insight into practical application of computational thinking, how computer science principles are relevant in the real world and real-world development practices.

“At the same time they will see that there is so much more than just software programming in leading tech teams, opening up opportunities for a wide range of students from creatives and people centric students right through to data experts.

“As a result, we expect to see more students considering careers in digital technology which will help improve the long term flow of Kiwi talent into the tech sector.

“This is just one of a number of collaborative initiatives between the tech sector and the Ministry of Education to help provide opportunities for students to get prepared for a very digital future.

“The tech sector is New Zealand’s fastest growing sector creating thousands of new, well paid jobs every year with a national median salary now close to $100,000.

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