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Further recognition tech skills critical for NZ

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller. Supplied photo.

The tech sector is pleased to see the government moving faster on reopening the borders as critical skills shortages continue to challenge many organisations across almost all sectors of the economy, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

Companies have been gearing up to take advantage of the recent border exceptions for tech workers pathway but the challenge has been showing prospective candidates that residency is an option for them and their families.

“With the roles in the border exception process now identified on the government’s new green list from July, New Zealand tech employers are able to compete internationally for talent with confidence,” Muller says.

“The end result will mean a faster rise in the New Zealand economy and will help the Kiwi tech sector continue to soar.

“Experienced software engineers, ICT security specialists, multimedia specialists and a variety of ICT management roles were identified through several NZTech surveys over the past year as suffering from critical shortages.

“All of these roles are included on the government’s new green list meaning there is a simplified application process and applicants will be fast-tracked to residency pathways.

“These roles all earn well in excess of the twice median wage criteria and our research shows that for every new tech role that enters a community it stimulates or supports the creation of 4.8 other jobs around it.

“Before covid, about 3500 to 4500 new high paid tech roles were filled by immigration each year and these people live throughout New Zealand supporting local economic growth across the country.”

Muller says Wednesday’s announcement brings much-needed certainty for the tech sector. NZTech has longed fought for the border reopening for overseas tech workers.

NZTech members, including many of New Zealand’s biggest companies, say that their economic growth has stalled due to immigration issues.

The tech sector has been trapped by the covid pandemic because of border closures and the struggle to bring skilled tech workers into the country.

With more than 20,000 tech firms in New Zealand plus rapid digitisation of other firms the demand for digital skills has hugely outstretched supply, with vacancies throughout the country.

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