India a strong source of IT workers for NZ

New Zealand IT firms should consider an Indian import if they are hungry for staff.

New Zealand IT firms should consider an Indian import if they are hungry for staff.

The call comes in a survey that reveals more than a fifth of Kiwi employers have had to fill local positions with people from overseas.

Morgan & Banks general manager Stuart Bennett says New Zealand firms are finding it increasingly hard to find IT staff as demand simply outstrips supply. The global shortage of IT staff is estimated at 700,000-plus, he says, and New Zealand is part of it.

The country is also suffering a "steady exodus", he says, as IT workers head overseas for more money and a chance to progress their careers and work with new technology. To make up the shortfall, these staff are increasingly being replaced by foreigners, particularly in IT firms, though four-fifths of them are reluctant to, staying with local sources.

The latest M&B Job Index Survey says Europe tops the recruitment menu, with the continent supplying almost a third of IT immigrants. Australia also provides a sixth of the IT imports. Close behind is South Africa on 12.4%, India 11%, rest of Asia 10.6%, the US 7.9%, North America 4.5%, while 7.6% came from other regions.

India in particular needs to be seen as a strong source of IT professionals for New Zealand, says Bennett. "They have a large mobile workforce, churning out 300,000 graduates a year. They are English speaking, highly skilled, highly motivated with a good work ethic. This is why they are well sought-after in the US, Britain and Europe," he says.

Bennett says Britain is the top European provider, but Eastern Europeans are coming if they can get out of their country. Indians seem popular with lower North Island firms.

However, he adds Indians are no cheaper than Westerners, as IT wages are determined by what the US wants to pay, not where the workers come from.

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