Ninety six per cent of New Zealand IT employers expect the skills shortage to impact their operations in 2023, according to the latest Tech Alliance digital skills report.vSeventy-nine per cent of the 159 organisations that responded to the third New Zealand Digital Skills Survey reported they faced recruitment challenges, while many employers identified the challenge of finding skilled IT workers as an ongoing concern.
The ongoing demand for workers with advanced digital skills meant that ICT and other digital roles remain some of the highest paid jobs in Aotearoa.vHowever, despite the demand, the national median for tech salaries remains unchanged since 2021 while the median salary for digital specific roles have increased by just two percent.vJob mobility remains high in ICT, with 59 per cent of tech workers reporting they were considering a move to a new workplace in 2023. This was slightly down from the 64 per cent considering a move at the time of the 2020 report.
“As we strive to harness the opportunities presented by the digital revolution, it is crucial we equip our workforce with the necessary skills,” NZTech CEO Graeme Muller said.vPlenty of activity aimed at addressing the digital skills gap was observed through the research with numerous initiatives were under way, Muller said. However, despite these the statistics showed little improvement.vThere had also been a significant decline in learners engaging in digital technology studies, which flowed into 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,” Muller said.
The challenge demanded an approach where resources could be pooled and knowledge shared to develop innovative solutions. Collaboration with government and the education sector was crucial. Unsurprisingly given the shortages, tech employees remained highly confident in the job market, with 72 per cent saying they expected finding a job in their specialty to be as easy or easier than last year a figure that has doubled since 2021. “The specialised nature of many new roles requires employees with workplace experience and advanced skills in specific areas,” the report says.
Immigration had been the primary source of this specialised talent, filling a significant portion of all new digital technology jobs created. “While it is important to grow the local pipeline, immigration will continue to be needed to ensure the right mix of advanced digital skills in the workforce,” the report said. The survey was conducted in January and February 2023.
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