Last week the Digital Skills Forum hosted a 1 day Hui in Wellington. The 300 delegates focused on 3 of the recommendations highlighted in the Digital Skills for a Digital Nation report:

  • Developing a more inclusive and diverse digital technology industry
  • Preparing Aotearoa for the Future of Work 
  • Bridging the Gap between Education & Employment in Digital Technology

The Forum who brought this event together is a cross government / cross industry initiative focused on digital skills, the members are NZRise, ITP, NZTech with MBIE as the lead agency alongside DIA, Ministry of Education, TEC, Te Pune Kōkori, DPMC with the support of other agencies.

For me as Chair of the Forum – a role I hold representing NZRise – it was a very special event. In respecting our nation’s current sorrow and shock at the recent terrorist attack we were pleased to provide delegates with opportunities to discuss the role digital technology played and our collective aspirations for the future alongside the topic of the day.

Minister Robertson our opening speaker delivered a compassionate and thought provoking speech reflecting on the terror attack and the impact it will have on us as a nation. He went on to provide an overview of the Tripartite Future of Work Forum’s focus – preparing our workforce and businesses for a future where technology will be an enabler in terms of productivity and diversification, while also acting as a disruptor for many. He was very direct about the input this hui will have into the Tripartite Future of Work Forum’s work plan and described our input as putting flesh on the bones of other initiatives.

Everyone was energised and enthusiastic with their thoughts and input, I am grateful people were able to give up their day and provide such considered insight. I was also thrilled with the diversity of attendees from across industry, education, NGO’s, government, the wider community and very geographically diverse. There was a great mixture of experience from delegates who are new to the workforce through to those who are thought leaders in this space.

Paul Matthews has written up his own review of the event on the ITP site and noted how impressed he was with the calibre of the attendees. The speakers were all impressive challenging our thoughts and inspiring us to consider a diverse range of perspectives.

The Future of Education panel

It’s not too late to add your voice to this discussion. We will be posting the outcomes of the hui on the Forum’s website in the coming weeks and will be asking for feedback, publishing short polls and surveys and asking our communities, including NZRise members, to validate the thinking as it evolves.

To everyone who attended or supported their staff to attend, Thank you.

Victoria MacLennan, Co-Chair NZRise and Chair Digital Skills Forum

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