Urgent call to equip workforce with digital skills

Friday 25 Aug 2023

The newly published Digital Skills Aotearoa (3rd edition) provides valuable insights into the country’s digital skills challenges and explores the landscape in New Zealand and globally.

“In our ever-evolving digital world, the importance of digital skills cannot be overstated. As we strive to harness the opportunities presented by the digital revolution, it is crucial we equip our workforce with the necessary skills,” says NZTech CEO Graeme Muller.

“Throughout the research phase of this report, we observed plenty of activity aimed at addressing the digital skills gap. There are numerous initiatives underway and all should be commended. However, despite these initiatives, the statistics have shown little improvement. At all levels, there has been a significant decline in learners engaging in digital technology studies, which flows onto low numbers graduating.”

“It is now abundantly clear that systemic change is required – a transformation that encompasses the collective efforts of industry, government and the education sector. The magnitude of our challenge demands a united approach where we can pool resources, share knowledge and develop innovative solutions. Collaboration with government and the education sector is also crucial for their support in shaping policies and providing vital infrastructure for effective change.”

The recommendations included in the report serve as a roadmap towards a more digitally skilled Aotearoa New Zealand. They encompass a range of strategies aimed at addressing the root causes of the digital skills gap, nurturing talent and fostering an environment for continuous lifelong learning and upskilling.

“By embracing these recommendations and embarking on a collaborative journey, we still have the potential to lead as a thriving digital nation.”

The report examines our demand and supply mismatch, where the greatest unmet demand is for senior workers with specific advanced digital skills and experience. Generally, these roles cannot be filled by graduates and early-career workers. As a result of this mismatch, many graduates find it difficult to obtain entry-level jobs.

Digital Skills Aotearoa also forecasts our future demand, identifying challenges and supply opportunities. To enable Aotearoa’s future, the report provides several recommendations. These include a collective response to our digital skills challenge, leadership from our largest employer and the need for industry to prioritise collaborative efforts to address the issue.

Source: Tech Alliance

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