Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Burgeoning NZ Tech Sector Struggling To Get Enough Staff

New Zealand’s tech sector is struggling to get enough skilled staff despite strong job growth and thousands of new tech jobs being created every year, a new survey says.

The Kiwi economy is being seriously restricted by a digital skills mismatch during difficult covid times, it says.

Digital technology businesses are having problems attracting, developing and retaining people with tech and creative skills needed to help New Zealand grow faster, especially out of the covid pandemic, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

The Digital Skills Aotearoa survey, launched in Wellington yesterday, says there has been a lack of coordinated effort leading to a skills mismatch with local education pathways not producing sufficiently experienced talent and industry relying heavily on immigration to support growth.

The Digital Skills Forum, run by the leading national tech organisations, such as NZTech, was established with government in 2015, to bring together government and the tech industry, to help address growing digital skills shortages.

Muller says in the past five years, IT occupations have been steadily increasing, growing 4.7 percent a year to 98,583 jobs across all sectors by 2019. Meanwhile, the education system has introduced digital technology teaching across all year groups in primary and secondary school.

“Demand for people with advanced digital skills worldwide is greater than the supply of qualified employees and the gap continues to grow.

“By 2025, as many as 149 million new digital technology jobs are expected to be created worldwide. Many countries have begun to modify their education systems to improve the teaching of foundational skills and competencies required for a digital future.

“There are challenges including shortages of qualified teachers, low levels of student interest in digital career pathways and low levels of participation by girls and underrepresented minority groups. New Zealand is facing a specific digital skills challenge. This research clearly shows an issue of a skills mismatch rather than a skills shortage.

“The number of new digital technology roles created each year is not an insurmountable challenge. New Zealand requires about 4000 to 5000 new digital technology professionals each year, only a small percentage improvement across the pipeline.

“In 2019, 4462 new digital technology jobs were created. In the same year, 5745 students graduated from tertiary information technology courses, including 3265 students with degrees in either computer science, information systems or software engineering.

“The industry research conducted as part of this study found a majority of roles being recruited are for senior or experienced individuals, with very few entry level positions available.

“This indicates a skills shortage for senior experienced capabilities and an oversupply of under skilled graduates. To solve this problem, organisations have increasingly relied on immigration to access the required digital skills at the required time.”

The survey showed increasing reliance on immigration and low levels of investment in upskilling staff has created high levels of employee turnover as individuals actively seek new opportunities.

In recent years, immigration has become the preferred pathway for organisations recruiting for digital technology roles. Covid has put a halt to that.

“To ensure New Zealand’s digital future, we must build the digital skills pipeline, promote digital technology to students, parents and whanau and increase investment in educators’ confidence and upskilling.

“The government’s GovtTechTalent graduate programme has to be expanded and we should fund and coordinate specialisations across the ICT Graduate Schools,” Muller says.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Reserve Bank: Policy Lessons From A Year Of Covid-19

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua was in a sound position to continue to meet its mandate in the face of the COVID-19 induced economic shock. However, we must continue to transform so as to remain relevant and effective in addressing longer-term challenges, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said... More>>

Transport Industry Association: Feb 2021 New Vehicle Registrations Strongest On Record

Motor Industry Association Chief Executive David Crawford says that the February 2021 figures are the strongest for the month of February ever. Registrations of 12,358 were 8.0% up on February 2020. Year to date the market is up 7.1% (1,735 units) compared to the first two months of 2020... More>>

Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Psychic Ventures: US Consumer Spending On Video Games Jumped By 42% In Jan 2021

On a global scale, there was a 15% increase in digital games revenue in January 2021, pushing the total to $11.6 billion.
In the US, gaming revenue rose to an impressive high during the month thanks to the new generation of consoles. ... More>>

OECD: Annual Inflation Picks Up To 1.5% In January 2021 While Euro Area Records Sharp Increase To 0.9%

Annual inflation in the OECD area picked up to 1.5% in January 2021, compared with 1.2% in December 2020. Following a rebound between December and January, the annual decline in energy prices was less pronounced in January (minus 3.9%) than in December... More>>

Hemp Industries Association: Could The Next Team NZ Boat Be Made Entirely Of Hemp?

With The America’s Cup due to start in a few days’ time, innovators from a very different sphere have been wondering how long it could be before New Zealand could be competing in a boat entirely built from hemp, with the crew eating high-energy, nutritious hemp-infused foods and wearing high-performance hemp kit..? More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>