For the last ten years, we’ve been heavily involved with local universities and higher institutions, not only through our annual Computer Science Scholarship, but also through various sponsorships with local university clubs and societies such as DEVS, the Data Science Club and the WDCC. While these initiatives have done an amazing job at helping to influence, direct and guide students into New Zealand’s tech sector, it was never going to be enough.
Over the years, three key issues have been repeatedly raised by students and employers:
While universities and high institutions do a great job in getting students up to speed with technical skills, student employability is often lacking at graduation – particularly around the soft skills that modern Kiwi employers are looking for.
In a sector that is constantly evolving, keeping coursework contemporary is almost impossible. Listening to hiring managers, while they respect university learnings, by the time new programs and papers are accredited, they’re often already out of date.
Too often, students coming out of university feel like they are completely ignored by recruitment agencies – purely because they aren’t as monetizable as someone with a few years’ experience under their belt.
Together, these issues have created one overarching challenge: how do we go about bridging the gap between university and employment?
To tackle this, we’d need to go about things in a way that the recruitment world has never seen. This meant supporting and investing in our student communities – empowering young people to navigate the challenges associated with breaking into Aotearoa’s tech sector. No other motives, no short term gains...for us, it is all about supporting a disenfranchised community that is so critical to the future success of our sector.
And that is how Taitamariki Potentia was born...