High Tech Youth, an after-school cyber learning program for young people in underserved communities, has set itself the goal of filling an estimated 60,000 IT job vacancies by 2020.
To kick off the campaign it will hold an Indigenous Innovation Hui bringing together over 70 schools, community groups and leaders from New Zealand technology companies with sponsorship from Microsoft NZ and Auckland University of Technology’s CoLab.
High Tech Youth chair, Sam Chapman, said: “Technology is shattering traditional economic norms, where before people made money through an individual competitive advantage, in the new digital world it is the willingness to share and collaborate that gives you and your whanau the advantage. This way of thinking and doing is not unfamiliar to indigenous people.”
CEO, Mike Usmar, added: "The facts are clear, only one percent of Maori are studying ICT at tertiary level, yet the technology export sector is worth over seven billion dollars to our country. With just 2.5 percent of the Maori workforce employed in the ICT sector, we have to ask ourselves why?
“And more importantly, what would New Zealand look like socially and economically, if the thousands of young people we see turning up each day at our High Tech Youth Studio's had the full backing to transform the future of this country – the struggle with housing, health, unemployment, gone.”
The Indigenous Innovation Hui swill take place on 26 August at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, Auckland. Details are [[xref:http://www.hightechyouth.org|available online]].High Tech Youth say it “recognises the goal of 60,000 ICT jobs filled is an ambitious task,” although has not yet indicated what, beyond this event, it intends to do.