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1,300 students looking for their first tech job

Peter Griffin, Editor. 09 August 2022, 12:14 pm
1,300 students looking for their first tech job

The NZ Hi-Tech Awards celebrated the tech industry’s leading individuals and organisations in Wellington on Friday, including Summer of Tech, which won the prize for Best Contribution to the NZ Tech Sector.

Summer of Tech, which had been a finalist alongside Digital Future Aotearoa, Humanitix and Microsoft, was founded in 2006 as Summer of Code, a programme developed at Wellington’s creative HQ business incubator.

It changed its name to Summer of Tech in 2010, to “reflect the evolving nature of the students and employers we work with” and launched its boot camp and internship programme in Auckland in 2014.

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The Hi-Tech Awards attracted 1,100 attendees in Wellington last Friday

Thousands of students have participated in Summer of Tech’s programmes since seven start-ups hired 14 students back in 2006 to work on web and software development projects over the summer.

“Our dream is to scale Summer of tech across New Zealand to help thousands of employers and students get the right job,” said John Clegg, Summer of Tech’s co-CEO and one of the founders of Summer of Code over 15 years ago.

“We currently have 1,300 students who are looking for their first tech job,” he told the Hi-Tech Awards audience in Wellington.

“So you know what to do. We’ll help connect you, and I can see some great alumni among us doing amazing things.”

The Hi-Tech Awards judges said they were “impressed by the impact, scale and reach Summer of Tech has achieved”.

“The programme is not only practical but easy for businesses to onboard with young talent and engage them meaningfully with the company,” they added.

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Summer of Tech co-CEO John Clegg

Summer of Tech represents the largest and most established tech internship programme in the country and is of increasing importance to employers dealing with acute tech talent shortages in areas such as software development, cybersecurity and cloud platforms.

TASKA's Summer of Tech journey

One start-up that has made good use of Summer of Tech is Christchurch-based prosthetic hand maker TASKA. On the Summer of Tech website, TASKA’s head of design, David Lovegrove, reflects on two years of hiring interns via the Summer of Tech programme.

“TASKA has been part of Summer of Tech for the past 2 years, this is our 3rd year.

“In 2020, we had two interns join us and work on developing a test rig for testing our hands - with support and mentoring from our team.

“In 2021 we had lots of mini projects that supported our main product development effort. We hired 4 interns to work on specific components and processes. The interns provided additional horsepower at a critical stage of our product development.”

Reflective of the company’s supportive culture, the team is totally onboard and willing to support the interns. David emphasises the importance of setting interns up for success:

“At TASKA, interns go through a structured induction and are assigned a mentor - usually a mid to senior level designer or engineer who checks in every day and is available for questions and support.”

Where are these interns now?

“Of the 6 interns we’ve had work with us, we’ve hired 3 into full-time roles. There’s nothing quite like seeing how someone works to give you a clear idea of where they can add the most value. Its equally satisfying being able to help talented students blossom in our environment and start their career in design and engineering”

Tech employers can register to be involved in Summer of Tech here.


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