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Kiwis with digital skills contribute $7.3 billion to NZ’s GDP

Research by Amazon Web Services (AWS) has revealed that workers in Aotearoa who use advanced digital skills such as cloud architecture and software development contribute $7.3 billion to New Zealand’s annual gross domestic product (GDP).

The “New Zealand Digital Skills Study: The Economic Benefits of a Tech-Savvy Workforce,” commissioned by AWS and conducted by Gallup looked at how a tech-savvy workforce created significant benefits for workers, organisations and the economy.

“New Zealanders are increasingly going digital, from the way they work to the way they live. This research shows that digital skills provide immense economic value to New Zealand at the individual, organisational, and macroeconomic levels,” says Gallup Principal Economist, Dr. Jonathan Rothwell.

“The opportunity for New Zealand to be competitive in the digital economy depends on having a robust and highly skilled workforce to support current and future innovations.”

Surveying around 1400 workers and 374 employees, the study looked at digital skills from basics such as social media to advanced digital skills such as software development and artificial intelligence (AI).

Seventy-two percent of workers who use advanced digital skills express higher job satisfaction, compared to 55 percent of workers with basic skills and 52 percent of workers with intermediate digital skills.

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The report also revealed that employers who rely on advanced digitally-skilled workers, digital technology and cloud technology “read higher business growth and innovation”.

The research found 27 percent of New Zealand organisations that run most of their business on the cloud report a doubling of annual revenue compared to nine percent of companies who use some of the cloud or none at all.

It is reported that cloud-based organisations are 23 percent more likely to have introduced or improved a new product within the last two years.

“As more organisations move their IT to the cloud over the next decade and new technologies emerge, digitisation is going to fuel a vast number of new jobs,” adds Rothwell.

With the future becoming increasingly digital-focused, 51 percent of employers in New Zealand are looking at AI, edge and quantum computing, blockchain and cryptocurrency as a standard of future business operations. 5G ranked the highest of technology concepts being a standard.

Over the next five years, New Zealand employers are reporting that digital skills will be very important but 64 percent say it is challenging to find the talent.

“Aotearoa, New Zealand has the opportunity to seize immense economic benefits from building a strong pipeline of cloud talent to support the country’s ongoing digital transformation,” says Tiffany Bloomquist, Country Manager of the Commercial Sector of Amazon Web Services New Zealand.

“Digital skills drive tremendous gains for individuals, organisations, and economies, which is why AWS is deeply committed to expanding our digital skills training programmes for workers and employers across New Zealand.”

To support the growing demand of digital skills among Kiwis, Amazon Web Services has announced the AWS re/Start programme, helping unemployed and underemployed IT professionals modernise their skills and pivot to mid-level cloud careers.

Collaborating with Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, Amazon Web Services is bringing this programme alive and connecting Kiwis to opportunities.

“We know there are many New Zealanders out there with valuable information technology experience who are well positioned to upskill and pivot to cloud computing roles,” says Dr Megan Gibbons, Deputy Chief Executive of Te Pūkenga.

“The launch of AWS re/Start Associate is going to open up opportunities for people with an IT background to level-up and gain vital cloud skills. New Zealand is preparing for an increasingly digitised future, and we are honoured to be delivering this programme in New Zealand for AWS at a time when Kiwi workers and employers are eager to advance their digital skills.”

The programme will work alongside some of the biggest names in tech across New Zealand such as KiwiRail, NZTech and more.

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