Reviewing role of Digital Technologies in school curriculum is a great step towards tackling ICT skills shortage in NZ
MYOB NZ welcomes a new initiative announced by the Government today to encourage more New Zealand students into technology careers.
The strategic plan A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara, announced jointly by Economic Development and Small Business Minister Steven Joyce and Education Minister Hekia Parata, includes actions to review the digital technology curriculum in schools*, as well as steps to encourage more girls into science and technology careers**.
Further reform of the Digital Technology curriculum in secondary schools will help address the ongoing skills shortage in the New Zealand ICT industry, says MYOB NZ Director and Product Development Manager Trevor Leybourne.
“Everything that takes place in business now, and in the future, relies on digital technologies, so it’s important that students get exposure to ICT as early as possible,” says Mr Leybourne.
“I’m delighted that the government is looking at reforming the ICT curriculum and I’d like to acknowledge those organisations, such as the Institute of IT Professionals, that have worked so hard over the years to get to this point.”
“Gaining meaningful ICT skills at secondary school will provide more opportunities for young people entering the workforce. In the New Zealand ICT industry there is a wide variety of roles to choose from, such as software developers, software testers, designers, business analysts and network administrators.”
MYOB is New Zealand’s leading accounting software provider and employs around 300 people in Auckland and Christchurch, of whom 25% in product development and another 25% in technical support roles.
Mr Leybourne, who has worked in the New Zealand ICT industry for over 20 years, says he is constantly on the look-out for skilled IT staff.
“In a tight labour market it isn’t just the salary package that attracts good talent, what we’ve found is that you have to create the right environment.” he says.“This year MYOB spent over $1.4 million refurbishing its Auckland office to enable Agile product development - a collaborative style of development which relies on inter-disciplinary team work.”
MYOB has also introduced HackDays into the workplace. This is when product development staff put their day-to-day work aside and dedicate two days to completing as special project of their choice. Many of the concepts that emerge from HackDays are put into actual production.
“The HackDay we had this month was themed “making business life easier”, and teams came up with apps and internal tools that we are going to develop further,” Mr Leybourne says.
“The next HackDay we have planned is a “hack for charity”, where we will be building tools, applications and services specifically for New Zealand charitable organisations.”
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Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand’s leading accounting software provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory, mobile payments and more. MYOB also provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends NZ$35+ million annually on research and development. For more information, visit myob.co.nz.
*Action 4 on page 20 of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara:
“Review the positioning and content of digital technology within the New Zealand Curriculum
and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa”
Action 2, page 27 of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara:
**“Increase girls’ participation in science and ICT: We will identify effective actions to influence girls’ subject choices and increase their participation in science and ICT areas of study, especially from year 12, and encourage them to pursue science and technology careers.