The continuation of the IT skills shortage comes as no surprise, given that it was predicted as long ago as 2005 or before, and little has been done that could have helped alleviate it.
A survey released by the NZICT Group found that NZ ICT companies continue to suffer from a skills shortage, despite the recession.
The survey had more than 100 respondents and found that more than 50% of companies are planning to appoint technical staff, but 83% stated that the difficulties recruiting qualified, skilled and experienced staff is having a medium to major effect on business.
In 2005 I wrote a paper, along with then colleague Robert Sutcliffe discussing the IT skills shortage and some measures that could be taken by industry and by Government to lessen the impact.
Here is a link to a blog post on the topic and our original paper:
Some of the things that we suggested as possible ways to redress the issue were to offer fees scholarships for IT study, or to give a period of tax breaks in certain key skills shortage areas. Lower tertiary fees for IT study is also an option.
We also talked of targeting school students with information about IT career options well before Year 11 given that many students are making career choices in late primary school and very early secondary school.
Collaboration between tertiary institutions, government and industry is also high on the list.
Much is yet to be done in this area, and after reading the previous post and paper, if you have any comments on the issue or any ideas to put forward on how to help please list them below:
In addition to the above, I am getting increasingly concerned about what we are teaching our primary and secondary school students that might help with an IT Career (recent Government initiatives may help with this), and whether we are teaching them in the most appropriate way to facilitate both girls and boys’ learning.
A recent study in New Zealand raises major concerns that our education system is failing boys and not meeting their learning needs. This will lead to major socio and economic issues in the near future. The following article makes for some serious reading: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/765563. It indicates that by 2025 three times more women than men will graduate from New Zealand tertiary institutions.