IT body looks for partners to help fill talent pipeline

IT body looks for partners to help fill talent pipeline
New Zealand IT industry body IITP is on the lookout for more companies to back its programme that gives school students an idea of what a tech career is like.

The Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) is hunting more companies to support its ICT-Connect programme, which gives students a helicopter view of a career in tech.

The programme was piloted in 2012 and last year operated in six regions nationally, reaching just over 30,000 students. This year it's being offered to schools in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Hastings, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin and has a target of 50,000 students.

Most partners signed up for two years and IITP predicted about 15 percent would drop out of the programme each year, says CEO Paul Matthews.

"It's not a funding shortfall, the business model is a bunch of companies putting a bit in," he says. "It comes down to how big the programme is. We can scale it up or down depending on the level of support from the industry."

ICT-Connect is a long term answer to the Kiwi tech industry's talent shortage, says Matthews, adding the level of partipation so far reflects the industry's concern over the issue.

IITP aims to have options for companies of different sizes to be involved, he says. The levels range from Supporter at $500 to Premier at $15,000.

The organisation has already held more than 100 presentations in February and March. It also piloted the ICT-Connect Careers Expo in Christchurch last year and plans to extend that to Auckland and Wellington this year.