LookSee Wellington, an initiative of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) and Workhere New Zealand designed to attract IT professionals to New Zealand, has joined a growing list of overseas organisations seeking to exploit president Donald Trump’s clampdown on migrants and visitors to the US.
The recently launched initiative got a plug in USA Today with the paper telling its readers “Mexico and Canada, two of the US's biggest trade partners, have accelerated current recruiting efforts by dangling more funding and facilities to skim talent from disaffected workers. … Add Wellington to the mix this week. … The country's capital city just launched a new initiative, LookSee Wellington, that offers 100 IT professionals free airfare and accommodations for job interviews with prospective employers.”
WREDA announced the scheme earlier this month, explaining that it would “see 100 pre-screened IT professionals from around the world selected to come to Wellington, with their flights and accommodation paid for, for a series of pre-arranged job interviews with employers who have roles that match their skills.” Their visits will be timed to coincide with TechWeek’17 in May, which will showcase the local tech industry.
WREDA said Workhere New Zealand would help pre-screen candidates in collaboration with participating employers. “They will be supported by Immigration New Zealand and NZTech, reflecting the urgent need to address Wellington’s IT skills shortage.”
The scheme is open to all New Zealand businesses with tech operations in the Wellington region. There is no cost to employers to participate unless and until they make a hire as a result.
According to WREDA the scheme was developed following a gathering of Wellington tech employers it convened in 2016 to discuss current skills shortages in the sector. WREDA says there has been strong support from both sector employers and prospective employees, and indications are promising.
USA Today noted that New Zealand already has a strong voice in the US In the form of Peter Thiel, “the billionaire investor and Trump confidante who was granted citizenship in 2011 after declaring he ‘found no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand.’”