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10 May 2017
A record number of tech graduates seeking paid summer internships through the Summer of Tech programme has prompted a call from the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) for more Wellington companies to sign up as employers.
WREDA’s Business Growth and Innovation General Manager David Jones says the demand for internships from students is currently not being met by available internship placements with 10 times more students and graduates signed up to Summer of Tech than employers.
“Last year, 118 internships were placed with the 47 Wellington companies that took part in the programme. This was a good result, and we’re incredibly grateful to those employers who were involved, but we had over 1,000 students signed up looking for a placement.
“We need more organisations to get involved. And you don’t just need to be a tech company, just have a need for ICT services.”
Jones says whilst employing interns via Summer of Tech requires organisations to invest time into training, it pays off in the long run, with 80 per cent of the interns going on to secure fulltime employment with those organisations they carry out their internship in.
“That’s an outstanding figure that speaks to the success of this programme and the quality of education in the tech space our young people are receiving.”
Summer of Tech is the longest running ICT internship programme in New Zealand. Since it launched in 2006, SoT has facilitated more than 700 paid internship.
Summer of Tech’s CEO Ruth McDavitt says the shortage of tech talent in New Zealand can only be solved if we nurture our young home grown talent.
“New Zealand doesn’t have a shortage of fresh tech talent. A record number of people are graduating with ICT qualifications, but it’s crucial the sector invests in their training and development so we take a longer term view to helping solve the shortage of mid-to-senior level talent the country is currently facing.”
McDavitt says student engagement in 2017 has been the strongest in SoT’s 10-year history.
“We have just cracked 1,600 students seeking internships this summer. There’s no shortage of keen newbies who want a chance to kick start their career in Wellington. We can’t wait to introduce them to Wellington’s top tech talent.”
Xero chief executive Rod Drury has grown his global cloud accountancy firm from Wellington. He says Summer of Tech is a vital cog in unearthing new talent.
“Investing in our IT community is crucial to Wellington's talent pool. At Xero we see a massive opportunity for developers and technology experts who can all have successful careers in Wellington at no compromise to a global career because we are so deeply vested in innovating at a rapid pace. Everyone in the tech industry in Wellington should be thinking about Summer of Tech.”
Employers wanting to register with Summer of Tech should visit SummerofTech.co.nz. The website is open for registrations from May 10.
More information will be available at the Summer of Tech launch, from 5.30pm on 22 May at BizDojo, 115 Tory St.