Is NZ ready for the Digital Economy?

“Skills, particularly STEM skills will be required for jobs of the future..."

New Zealand is suffering from an emerging skills gap, an issue which could seriously impact the country’s ability to thrive in a digital world.

That’s according to the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s latest publication, Future proofing the profession: preparing business leaders and finance professionals for 2025, which claims that the nation is suffering from an emerging skills gap.

A contributor to the publication, Cisco Australia and New Zealand Executive General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Tim Fawcett says that the companies on the Fortune 500 list today, only 24 percent existed 25 years ago.

Echoing Fawcett’s claims, Head of Academic Relations, Professor James Guthrie believes that the impact of the digital economy is “profound” and is set for further impact in the near future.

“Skills, particularly STEM skills will be required for jobs of the future - but enrolment in these subjects and courses has been in decline,” he says.

“This in conjunction with technology disruptions, the impact of regulation and the lack of these skills in current and future workforce are critical issues that the Australian and New Zealand governments need to deal with now.”

For Guthrie, workplaces today are already increasingly flexible, innovative and creative, meaning that the appetite to embrace the digital economy is there.

“Businesses are expected to drive over 500 percent boost in digital jobs,” he adds.

“Without the right skills there is a risk that Australia and New Zealand will not be part of the business of moving towards efficient and effective use of technology and adapting to disruptions unless needs are supported and met.”

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