Auckland's bid to attract (and keep) tech talent
A year into a three-year Tech Tāmaki Makaurau strategy to grow Auckland’s technology industry, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited claims its month-long 'Auckland is Calling' recruitment drive generated 400 tech-sector job applications.
Auckland is on a push to bolster its tech sector, including by attracting highly-skilled migrants to the city. That sees it in competition with Wellington, which launched its own campaign to attract talent last month, with a high-profile PR stunt on the streets of New York.
Wellington's Esc(ape) talent recruitment campaign
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s investment and industry director, Pam Ford, told RNZ this morning that migrants were a “vital part” of the strategy to boost Auckland’s tech industry.
"It's super important to attract talent here, because for our companies to grow they need good people," she said.
"We're really pushing that Auckland is a great place to live and you can have a wonderful career, that whole 'urban oasis' idea."
A ‘migrants in tech’ initiative has built up a community of around 500 migrants in the city, she added.
Auckland has also partnered with Australia’s largest startup community, Stone & Chalk, which has hubs in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The partnership will include “cross-border collaboration, access to expertise, investor connectivity, access to desk and office space, and innovation events.”
But New Zealand tech companies have also found themselves in competition with Australia for talent. The video games industry in particular has felt the pressure from lucrative tax subsidies offered to development houses, which has allowed them to lure tech talent from this side of the Tasman. The Government moved to counter those subsidies in May’s Budget by offering video game companies a 20% tax rebate.
If there are fears of a tech brain drain, they don’t seem to be troubling NZTech boss Graeme Muller.
"I'm not so concerned with the brain drain," Muller told RNZ.
"I think we're doing a great job of attracting high-level talent back in as well. The nice thing about digital as a career path is it's quite flexible, you can work for an overseas company from New Zealand, or you can work for a New Zealand company from overseas," he added.
Tech Tāmaki Makaurau has three pillars to its strategy: manaakitanga (attracting home-grown and international talent); kaitiakitanga (a sustainable and equitable future) and kōtahitanga (a globally connected, inclusive and collaborative tech city).
Next year it will repeat its recruitment drive, but also advertise Auckland’s tech companies to the world to try and attract investment and partnerships.
Tech Tāmaki Makaurau's year one initiatives:
Te Au Hangarau: The Wave of Technology research
Commissioned by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and Spark Foundation, the Te Au Hangarau research examined the participation gap of Māori in the Tāmaki Makaurau tech sector.
Ambicultural Kickstart Pilot
In partnership with Amia, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited launched the Ambicultural Kickstart Pilot, a cultural capability building programme for Auckland tech industry employers.
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, NZTech, the Ministry of Education and Media Design School partnered to host Tech23, an event designed to inspire Year 11-13 ākonga (learners) to consider technology as a career path.
Auckland is Calling
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s global tech talent attraction campaign Auckland is Calling targeted international senior tech talent, in particular Immigration NZ’s Green List of hard-to-fill, highly skilled roles that provide a priority pathway to residency.
Migrants in Tech
Migrants in Tech is a Tātaki Auckland Unlimited initiative designed to build a support network for recent newcomers to Auckland in the tech industry. Over the past year, four events and one webinar have been held, with 100 participants at each event.
TIN Tech Insights Report
The 2022 Auckland Tech Insights Report was commissioned by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and conducted by Technology Investment Network (TIN). The report focuses on the 112 Auckland-based companies that featured on last year’s TIN200; the annual list of the country’s top 200 high-tech export companies by revenue earned.
Aerospace Auckland Inc.
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited is one of the founding members of Aerospace Auckland Inc., an independent industry body to advance Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s aerospace sector.
Medtech-IQ Tāmaki Makaurau
In collaboration with Auckland University of Technology; Te Whatu Ora - Te Toka Tumai and Ara Manawa; Te Whatu Ora – Waitematā; i3 Institute for Innovation & Improvement and Callaghan Innovation; Tātaki Auckland Unlimited championed and supported the establishment of Medtech-IQ Tāmaki Makaurau, a virtual collaborative ecosystem for the medtech sector.
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited is one of several partners behind the New Zealand CleanTech Mission, an initiative led by Callaghan Innovation, along with New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge, Auckland UniServices, Ara Ake, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and KiwiNet. In October 2022, Tataki Auckland Unlimited facilitated the CleanTech Mission to Singapore with 12 Auckland companies participating.
Finnish trade delegation
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited hosted a trade delegation from Finland, including the Prime Minister of Finland and its Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade.
Digital Manufacturing Light pilot
The Digital Manufacturing Light pilot supports SME manufacturing firms to take their first steps towards digital transformation and was delivered by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited in partnership with the University of Auckland.
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited hosted two Tech Connect events to facilitate connection and collaboration in the industry.
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