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Update from ITPNZ

Paul Matthews. 25 October 2019, 5:24 pm
Update from ITPNZ

Here's a quick weekly update from ITP CEO Paul Matthews

What an incredible few weeks. October is usually a bit of a crunch time for activities at ITP, however this year was bigger than ever.

Our team ran a really successful ITx Rutherford 2019 conference, 10 regional finals for Tahi Rua Toru Tech all around New Zealand, completed a review of all ICT qualifications (below degree level) and submitted to NZQA, a heap of "business as usual" activities, plus I headed over to Korea to help advance a regional ICT skills initiative via APEC's 21 member economies (more on this next week). And the month's not over yet!

ITx Rutherford 2019 a huge success

What an amazing few days in Nelson a couple of weeks ago, when hundreds from the ITP and CITRENZ communities came together to celebrate and share innovation, technology and educational advancements in our sector. 

ITx is a "non-technical" tech conference and focuses on developments in the profession; in technology, trends, development and advancement and so much more. If you weren't there, you really missed out on something special!

Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with most attendees leaving with very full brains after several days of learning, sharing, networking and partying. There's nothing quite like an ITx conference, and ITx Rutherford 2019 was no exception.

There are photos, writeups, speaker videos, etc coming but in the meantime, many of the photos from the Gala Dinner are now on ITP's Facebook page.

Now we look forward to ITx 2020 - look for an announcement shortly…

Tahi Rua Toru Tech Regionals and Finals

Our awesome team have spent the last two weeks since ITx Rutherford travelling all around New Zealand running judging and 10 Regional Finals for the Tahi Rua Toru Tech Challenge in Schools. Hundreds of teams in schools all around New Zealand competed and we saw many of the best of the best at the Regionals.

As part of 123Tech, teams of 3-4 take on a problem in their school or community and use Digital Tech to solve it and omg we had some amazing projects and incredibly smart thinking this year. 

Teams focused on a huge range of projects tackling climate change, environmental issues, home and school like, safety, health, wellbeing and a host of other topics. We'll be profiling the regional winners shortly, who all go on to compete in the National Finals in Wellington in December. I'm glad I'm not a judge at the finals - they have their work cut out for them!

Check out some of the regional teams on the 123Tech Facebook Page.

Show off your wares at the 123Tech National Finals Expo

Speaking of the National Finals, we're hosting the finals and a tech expo in the afternoon of 5th December at TSB Arena in Wellington. This is going to be huge - the top school teams from across the country will be through, as well as other school groups and the public, and we're looking for more companies and others who want to join us and show off some of what makes our industry great.

If you're keen to come along and run some demos or show off some cool tech, or want a little more info, drop Gina from our team a note. Help us show the next generation why our industry is the most interesting, challenging and rewarding!

New Tech Qualifications submitted

We're excited to have completed a comprehensive review of all recognised sub-degree tech qualifications in New Zealand and submitted the updated and new qualifications to NZQA this month.

ITP and NZQA are the "Qualification Developers" for all sub-degree tech qualifications in New Zealand on behalf of the profession, meaning we oversee the development and review of the qualifications that are delivered in Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics and Private Training Establishments throughout New Zealand.

A huge thanks to all of those who contributed to this review, including the Steering Group (made up of industry reps from ITP, NZTech and NZRise, plus educational reps and others), Working Groups, feedback through consultations and other contributors. I was honoured to chair the Steering Group and really enjoyed working with such an awesome group of people committed to ensuring we had the best possible tech qualifications in New Zealand.

We'll be releasing the submitted qualifications once they've been approved by NZQA. For those interested, some of the changes are outlined in brief in these slides from my presentation at ITx Rutherford 2019. 

Government liaison

There is a whole heap going on in the Government space currently and I've spent much of this week meeting with various agencies on behalf of the profession about some of the reviews and other initiatives underway.

One key project I've written about before is the Review of Vocational Education (RoVE), and the potential opportunities and challenges for our sector. Earlier this week I met with members of TEC's RoVE team, those charged with putting together the Workforce Development Council for our sector. This was a really positive discussion and I'm confident they are aware of the unique nature of our sector - we'll continue to work with them over the coming months to ensure a model that's going to work for tech. 

This was also a key topic of conversation when I met with Digital Minister Hon Kris Faafoi for a one-on-one meeting this week, along with the Industry Transformation Plan for Digital Technologies, the future of the CTO role (hint: it's a dead duck, but there are other structures being looked at - announcement soon) and a range of other issues.

Speaking of the Industry Transformation Plan, for those who haven't followed this, MBIE is putting together an ITP (unfortunate acronym!) for Digital Technologies, focusing on what the Government can do to support our sector going forward. My colleague Graeme Muller at NZTech is doing some awesome work on this, and we're plugging in primarily on the skills and education front.

You can find out more here, and watch out for an announcement on workshops around New Zealand next month to unpack some of the draft details.


And lastly, I just want to state publicly how truly appreciative I, and our Executive and National Board, are of our awesome National Operations team. They've had a crazy couple of months but have worked incredibly hard and come up with some genuinely outstanding results in a bunch of areas, all to advance our profession. We should all be proud of how hard the ITP team works for all of us.

For those getting a break, have an awesome long weekend!


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