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Talent shortage bites deep: have your say

Paul Brislen, Editor. 07 July 2021, 10:53 am

As more companies and organisations bemoan the lack of talent in New Zealand, NZTech is researching to find out just how wide spread the problem is.

"For the past five years between 4000-5000 IT professionals have immigrated to New Zealand. With border closures the demand for talent by the fast growing tech sector has outstripped the local education system," says the industry lobby group who is asking those in the sector to fill out its online form so it can better lobby government about the shortfall.

"[T]he main shortage of talent is for complex roles that require experience. There is now strong anecdotal evidence that the growing tech talent shortage is detrimentally impacting the digitalisation and recovery of other sectors. It is also hampering the growth of the digital exporting companies who are responding by shifting roles out of New Zealand to the talent.

The survey aims capture data to "enable a more structured conversation with Immigration New Zealand on behalf of the tech sector" and includes a list of the types of roles that many organisations are crying out for.

Participation in the NZTech critical worker border exemption survey is available here.


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David Thompson 07 July 2021, 7:42 pm

One thing that's missing from this survey that I think might be a useful addition: asking how your company develops its talent and capabilities internally. Though with many New Zealand companies it's not even a matter of how, but if you do it at all.

If your current staff don't have the experience or skills you need in order to grow, are you investing in them?

Are you providing opportunities for them to build their capabilities in those growth areas, or is training just a "nice to have" if there's no other revenue-generating work they can be doing and there are free resources available?

Where you do have experts whose expertise is critical to your work, do you give them time and support in sharing what they know with others?

Where you don't have expertise in house, have you considered seeking and financing external mentors for your staff to help them progress?

Do people with high technical capabilities have a path for career advancement that doesn't take them away from the coalface and into hands-off management positions?

It's not just companies being unable to find people to fill senior roles, it's also people in junior roles not having the support and opportunities - within their work day - to develop themselves enough to progress. Maybe as an industry we should be thinking more about that way to grow, too.

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