Activities such as bungy jumping and skiing, as well as cheaper course prices, will be the bait to lure overseas IT professionals to do their MCSEs in New Zealand.
Training providers say our low dollar gives them great potential to cash in on overseas clients whose Microsoft certified systems engineer courses back home can cost several times New Zealand prices.
Various trainers have, by chance, had students from overseas, but are only now making a concerted effort to attract them.
Christchurch-based Trike Technologies marketing manager Andrew Johnson says his firm has staff in the UK investigating training options. His company has also spoken with holiday operators and intends to roll out the programmes as a package this year. In addition to the usual coursework, there could also be offers of skiing and bungy jumping, though plans are still being finalised.
“There is a considerable market for people to come to New Zealand and do their MCSE here far cheaper than in the UK. We have the experienced people here and we can give them something different and outstanding value for money,” he says.
New Horizons general manager Mark Douglas has begun telling his overseas sister companies of the opportunities in New Zealand, but says this has yet to bear fruit.
“We haven’t developed a [formal] strategy yet but we are looking to develop that side of the business. I am convinced there is a market. We have had a few bites and are talking to people about it, but have caught no fish yet,” he says.
However, the company has had customers from the US. Kiwi Brent Morgan is also just finishing off his MCSE in Auckland after returning early from his London OE because here prices are a third of what is charged overseas. His course is costing $NZ12,000 instead of £11,000 to £14,000 ($NZ35,000 to $NZ45,000) in the UK and $US15,000 ($NZ35,000) in the US.
Auckland-based Ace Computer Training general manager Tony Skelton says his firm has been training overseas students "for some time and has recently increased its marketing effort in this area". But he refuses to reveal more, saying this will only help the competition.