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Update from ITPNZ

Paul Matthews. 13 December 2019, 5:00 pm
Update from ITPNZ

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

Well, what a year it's been!

This week I thought I'd run through a few of the key highlights for ITP for 2019 before finishing next week on next year's plans. Most of the major items this year were based on our Annual Work Programme (part of the Annual Plan), however a couple of juicy ones came out of left field as well :).

From certification to ITx Rutherford, member benefit development, school initiatives and qualifications development, here were our top 10 projects for 2019.

1. Promoting CITPNZ and CTech

The #1 item on the work programme for 2019 was better promotion of CITPNZ and CTech. This included large (huge!) ads at Auckland Airport (our research showed this was an optimal place to capture our target market for creating demand), online promotions and additional promotion within our community. 

We see this as a partial success - more needs to be done and will be done in the new year. Having said that, we're excited to have seen a net 10% increase in those certified under CITPNZ and CTech - the largest annual increase since they were launched.

2. Supporting companies to develop their staff

For a while now, we've had a vision of providing a free advisory service to help our corporate partners get underway with SFIA (the main tech skills framework internationally) and help design and implement systems to develop their staff, plus provide a service to help with the actual implementation on a fee basis.

This year we've successfully done both. 

We now have Skills Development Advisory service, where our partners can get access to highly experienced and skilled consultants to help them design the next step in their own staff skills development programme - for free.

And for the implementation side, we wholly own Partner Consulting, a company who can implement skills development systems from start to finish - including helping assess the skills and competencies of all existing staff and plotting out their future development in line with the strategy of the company.

3. Expanding 123Tech in schools

Tahi Rua Toru Tech (123Tech) has been a huge success this year! We had a very exciting and successful national finals last week, following the Regionals a couple of months ago.

All in all over 6,500 students participated in 123Tech this year, nicely scaling up from around 1500 in year 1. We're excited to be continuing 123Tech into 2020 as well, with the Ministry confirmed as key partner for at least another year.

4. Hosting you at ITx Rutherford 2020

October was a massive month - as well as 10 regional finals for 123Tech around NZ, and work progressing the Regional Skills Project with APEC (see below), we ran ITx Rutherford 2019, a smaller spin-off conference from the main ITx.

It was a huge success - 96% of attendees were Very Satisfied (72%) or Satisfied (24%) with the overall experience, with 0% not satisfied. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the conference was 58, considered excellent.

We're really happy that attendees were extremely satisfied with the organisation, staff helpfulness, friendliness etc. Keynotes were universally praised. 87% of you will probably or definitely be back next year, with only 1 "definitely not". See most of you at ITx 2020!

5. Conducting Qualifications Assessments for Immigration purposes

We've continued to conduct assessment of the content of overseas qualifications and other learning for immigration purposes and have seen an increasing number come through this pathway. It's great to be providing an option for those who have the skills we need in our industry, but not a direct 1-to-1 match on degrees. 

Our assessment looks at whether potential immigrants meet the educational standards in Chartered IT Professional NZ certification.

Working with NZQA and Immigration NZ, there is a shared intention to continue to develop policy in this area to provide the best possible set of options for those overseas who want to work in NZ, and have the skills our industry needs and is short on. This work is continuing. 

6. Responding to the RoVE Review and Workforce Development Council

This one wasn't on the work programme but came about as a result of the significant changes to the Institute of Technology and Polytech sector in the Review of Vocational Education (RoVE). Private trainers are also affected.

On behalf of our profession, we've been leading the industry response to RoVE, and especially, the nature, positioning and establishment of a Workforce Development Council (WDC) - the body that will continue the work we've been doing in recent years to set qualifications and standards in the sector.

In November we worked with the Engineers to create a proposal for an Engineering and IT WDC and have been meeting regularly with the Tertiary Education Commission on what this might look like. We expect considerably more work on this in the new year.

7. Assisting with the Asia Pacific Regional Skills Project 

On the international front, we've been working with a number of our international partners on the establishment and execution of an ICT Skills Development Project across Asia Pacific.

This is now an APEC project, the organisation that sits across the 21 Asia Pacific and Pacific Rim economies. Earlier in the year I travelled to Seoul, Korea to help present a workshop to all 21 economies on the project and help garner additional international support.

The intention of the project is twofold: Firstly, to look at how to recognise skills across the different economies. For example, how to ensure our certification is directly recognised across the whole region, and vice versa. Secondly, to help put in place an easy implementation plan for the implementation of a skills framework across developing countries that don't yet have one.

This is a "slow-burn" project - these things don't move as fast as we would all like. However it's gathering momentum now and we're starting to see some awesome progress.

8. Reviewing all sub-degree ICT Qualifications in NZ

We're the co-developer of all tech-related sub-degree qualifications on the NZ Qualifications Framework, along with NZQA. This means we oversee the process of developing and reviewing all NZ Diplomas and Certificates below Bachelors level offered in New Zealand. 

In 2015 we replaced all 224 existing qualifications with a suite of 14 new ones, now being taught by Polytechnics and Private Training Establishments across the country. This year saw a scheduled review of these qualifications.

The steering group for the review is broadly representative, including representatives from ITPNZ, NZTech and NZRise plus providers and others. We took advantage of this review to incorporate a greater focus on new and emerging technologies, while also ensuring the core stuff wasn't lost, and are really happy with the outcome.

We're just running through the last of the process with NZQA and expect to submit the final versions of the new qualifications to NZQA next week.

9. Helping see in the new Digital Tech school curriculum

After several years' of work, we're stoked to be seeing the rollout of the Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content in schools. This very squarely changes the focus in schools from just using technology, to truly understanding how tech works and moving up to being creators of and with tech.

Schools have had the last 18 months or so to implement the content, and it becomes mandatory from next year. If your kids' school hasn't implemented this yet, or planned it for next year, you should tell them to check out the Readiness Tool - it's confidential and free - and sign up for 123Tech next year.

10. And more!

Ok, I'm cheating a bit by winding up some other stuff in the 10th but the above really only tells part of the story.

We've also run heaps of events and courses, run mentoring, grown our video library, worked with Government on a range of initiatives, supported the education sector and so much more. And at the same time, seen a good lift in professional membership and good financial stability.

We'll have a more detailed roundup at our AGM next year, but suffice to say it's been another breakthrough year for the organisation.

Next week: Looking forward

Next week's update will run through the work programme for next year, but for those who are finishing up for the year now, have a great break!


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