New Zealand’s ICT industry has been offered a chance to help ease its skills shortage problem, with the New Zealand Computer Society calling for contributions to drive its ICT-Connect In Schools career guidance project.
The industry group has already completed a successful pilot of the programme, which promotes ICT as a career option for everyone, not just the technically-minded.
NZCS CEO Paul Matthews says in an email to the industry that the programme could see hundreds of New Zealand IT professionals ‘visit schools and talk to students about future options in the IT sector’.
"It’s designed to permanently change the perception of IT as a sector in the minds of the next generation,” Matthews says, "and to open their eyes to what a future in ICT actually means.
"We’re absolutely confident this will lead to more kiwi kids choosing a bright future in IT and internet-related fields.”
The programme consists of four or five school visits by IT professionals, tertiary providers, and NZCS representatives, explaining how the industry works and what the education pathways are to get there.
12 schools took part in the pilot, although over 400 expressed an interest.
This year, NZCS is looking to run the programme in 50 schools in Dunedin, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Auckland and possibly Northland. In 2013, the organisation wants to grow this number to 100.
Industry contributions will help pay for staff to co-ordinate the project, as well as resources such as brochures, posters, videos, and a website.
Matthews says contributors will also gain significant exposure and marketing opportunities.
"Trust me – we’ll be yelling the virtues of those supporting the project from the rooftops!”
Partnership options range from ‘supporter’, at $500 (+GST) per year, to ‘premier partner’, at $15,000 (+GST) per year. Go here to check out the project prospectus.