Businesses joining fund to teach IT

Rohan Wakefield
Rohan Wakefield
Dunedin-based technology company ADInstruments has joined a new tuition fund to train software developers and help address the critical shortage of IT talent in New Zealand.

Funding of up to $12,500 will be available for students who enrol in the Enspiral Dev Academy, with two or four places being held open for Otago students. The final numbers allocated to Otago will be based on whether part or full funding is required.

The intensive nine-week course was for people who were serious about a career in one of New Zealand's top tech companies, Enspiral Dev Academy co-founder Rohan Wakefield said.

Many local businesses were having to spend up to three times as much to recruit developers from overseas and a recent survey suggested local technology companies would need 10,000 more people to fill roles over the next three years.

The course was the first of its kind in the country and Enspiral had partnered with Xero, Powershop, Trade Me and 10 other employers to directly connect graduates with roles, he said.

Initial funding was being provided by Enspiral, ADInstruments and Powershop. Xero had committed to providing support for Dev Academy students later in the year and Enspiral hoped to grow the funder pool to 25 by the end of the year through private and public sector partnerships, including business, government and iwi, he said.

''The fund is the most effective way to lower the barriers to entering the IT sector. We want to do everything we can to make it easier for people to get into IT.

''There is a huge demand for passionate and skilled entry level developers.''

With more than half of the technology jobs currently being offered paying more than $100,000, it was a career worth thinking seriously about, Mr Wakefield said.

ADInstruments chief technical officer Jon Enlow said the Dunedin company was always looking for ways to attract talent to the city.

Partnering with Dev Academy was an easy decision to make.

''We love the idea of expanding the local technical ecosystem in Dunedin with Dev Academy graduates, increasing the diversity in the IT industry here and seeing more talented developers settle in this great city,'' he said.

Powershop would contribute $1500 scholarships to the first 10 students who enrolled in the Ruby on Rails programming language.

The first 14 Dev Academy students began their pre-course preparation this week with the class starting in May.

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