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Skills Shortage May Restrain Economic Growth

Gen-i’s Quin Predicts ICT Skills Shortage May Restrain New Zealand’s
Economic Growth

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 6 November 2007 – The skills shortage in the ICT
sector has the potential to jeopardise New Zealand’s economic growth by
limiting the ability of business to align ICT with business strategy. As
a result, the sector urgently needs to work together to find innovative
solutions to address the labour scarcity and talent wars.

This is the view of Chris Quin, general manager of Gen-i New Zealand, a
speaker at today’s Telecommunications User Association conference on the
ICT Skills Shortage.

“With the tightest labour market in history and record low unemployment,
the skills shortage is impacting all industry sectors,” says Quin.
“However, it is particularly acute in the ICT sector, where a shortage of
skilled workers is impacting the ability of all businesses to provide the
technologies they need to meet the demands of a changing workforce.”

“Generation Y employees increasingly expect that the technologies they use
in their personal life are also used in their working life. And as work
and home merge, there are increased demands for technologies that allow
staff to communicate 24 by 7 and blend work and play. That is placing
huge demands on businesses looking to align their ICT with corporate
strategy.”

Quin explained that as businesses struggle to find the IT staff they need
to complete major business improvements, they often resort to short-term
techniques to attract people.

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“We need to be sensible as an industry, and not just compete by increasing
costs such as salaries and related benefits. That just increases the rate
of voluntary churn, and will eventually kill off businesses that can’t
keep up.

“Our industry requires a new approach with far more imagination, more
commitment and more action than we’ve ever seen before,” said Quin. “As a
result, we’ve decided to draw a line in the sand – we can’t go on
recruiting and managing talent in the old way.”

Quin leads one of Australasia’s fastest-growing and innovative ICT
services businesses, with pole positions in both marketshare and mindshare
(according to IDC).

“We’ve spent the last three years building a capability that spans the
technology and telecommunications sectors, offering a truly end-to-end
service and capability,” explained Quin. “However, as we deliver these
new capabilities we have had to source staff for new roles that are
hybrids from both worlds.

Managing available resources is also a key focus for Gen-i.

“We have had a number of significant new business wins over the last year,
but are careful not to take on more business than we can service. We are
managing our pipeline of new business against available resources to
ensure we don’t put our people under pressure.”

Gen-i has developed a five-pronged approach to managing its people,
spanning recruitment, training, partnering, automation and building a
strong culture. Quin emphasised the importance of developing a strong
leadership and culture to attract and retain the best talent within New
Zealand.

“Our client success is largely due to our approach to building strong
partnerships, based on honesty, trust, relevance and leadership,” said
Quin. “We extend that approach into our own organisation by investing in
building an awesome community of passionate and inspiring employees.

“The real opportunity is to create an organisation-wide culture of
genuinely wanting clients to prefer you.”

For further details on the TUANZ ICT Skills Shortage conference, visit the
TUANZ web site.

About Gen-i
Gen-i is at the forefront of helping customers take advantage of the
convergence of technology and telecommunications, and the new
opportunities this makes possible.

Gen-i works alongside its 3,000 corporate, government and business
customers to deliver seamless and integrated ICT solutions. A member of
the Telecom New Zealand Group,
Gen-i achieves this with the support of 1,600 highly skilled people in 15
locations across New Zealand and Australia. For more information on
Gen-i, visit www.gen-i.co.nz

Ends

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