16 Apr 2014

ICT industry short by 10,000 workers

9:30 am on 16 April 2014

The body representing the technology sector says an online recruitment fair to attract foreign workers will help alleviate the skills shortage blighting the sector.

The Technology Industry Association estimates the sector has up to 10,000 vacancies, covering IT system administrators to software programmers and developers.

The sector is the fastest growing part of the economy, expanding at double digit rates. It is worth about five percent of national output, while employment has risen by a fifth to more than 60,000 in the past decade.

However, Technology Industry Association chief executive Candace Kinser says firms desperately need more people.

The association held its first online event late last month to attract workers from overseas and Ms Kinser says it attracted 1600 CVs.

The firms that advertised jobs through it experienced a spike in applications, she says. However, she admits it is easier to interest people in a New Zealand job than it is to convince them to take the plunge and come here.

Auckland University professor of physics Sean Hendy says the onus needs to be on raising New Zealanders' awareness that these type of skills are increasingly needed to compete globally.