The former boss of Tradenz, Chris Mitchell, is to head a new IT institute that will place students in IT “apprenticeship” schemes around New Zealand.
The institute is expected to administer the placing of fee-paying students in nine-month courses at participating businesses — effectively a kind of apprenticeship.
Mitchell says he is still in discussion with participating companies. “Yes, things are moving along, and we are obviously pleased with the progress made so far.”
The impending creation of the institute has been welcomed as a positive move by the head of the New Zealand Software Association, Peter Nathan. “Anything that helps people upskill will be beneficial to everybody,” he says.
The scheme is intended to fast-track students entry into the industry, particularly those who already have a degree in a non-IT area.
Nathan’s own firm — payroll software company Comacc — is expected to be one of the participating businesses. He says the scheme will be welcomed in the industry as graduates with computer science degrees often have little experience of business. “We have to spend a lot of time teaching them about making a living.”
Mitchell is believed to have had an informal meeting with government ministers Paul Swain and Steve Maharey, at which the ministers expressed interest in the apprenticeship scheme.