Digital skills are the skills needed to find, evaluate, utilize, share and create content using information technologies and the Internet. Digital skills can be basic, such as the ability to use email or online banking, through to more advanced skills such as programming. As many services move online, basic digital literacy skills are now required by the entire population. These skills are needed to carry out essential functions such as digital communication or basic internet searches in a secure way.

The Digital Skills Forums is a collaboration between New Zealand Government agencies and the private sector through industry groups NZRise, NZTech and IT Professionals NZ, supported by the MBIE Digital Economy team.

This report is the first of it’s kind in New Zealand designed to understand the Digital Technology skills landscape – and has found we have a shortage and growing demand.

For example approx. 14,000 new jobs were created in 2016 with 5,090 students graduated from studies in Computer Science or Information Technology in 2015 and 5500 technology visa’s granted in 2016 there was still a shortfall of skilled workers.

Our government have a goal of Digital Technology as the 2nd largest contributor to GDP by 2025 meaning the industry is ramping up and in growth mode. This coupled with Digital Technology becoming part of all businesses the demand will continue to grow. New Zealand is not alone here. Europe anticipate a shortage of 500,000 Digital Technology specialists by 2020.

Digital Technology careers also provides a key to economy prosperity in New Zealand. The median wage here is $49,868 whereas the media wage of a worker identified as Digital Technology is $82,000. We do however need to focus on diversity with women only making up ~30% of those employed in Digital Technology roles, along with underrepresentation of Maori and Pasifika.

This report recommends we need to collaborate and focus on:

  1. Make sure every child is exposed to digital technologies
  2. Help all kiwi’s understand the importance of digital skills
  3. Increase the number studying advanced digital skills
  4. Actively encourage a more diverse group of kiwi’s into digital technology
  5. Undertake a programme of constant digital attraction
  6. Develop and promote pathways into digital tech roles
  7. Develop a platform to support interships
  8. Develop programmes to support re-entry to work
  9. Create upskilling programmes for those likely to be hit by automation
  10. Educate the market on the importance of education and training

Read more about Digital Skills here – Digital_Skills_Report (Online) 2017 Dec

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