INDEPENDENT NEWS

Web Site Aims to Help Technology Skills Shortage

Published: Mon 28 Feb 2000 08:46 AM
New Zealand Web Site Aims to Help Technology Skills Shortage
A web-site aimed at New Zealand’s technology industries is trying to solve a critical shortage of skilled technologists that is hampering this country’s drive towards a knowledge economy.
“Desktop News:Technology” is a news and information Web site which provides a wide range of publicity, PR and email newsletter services to the electronics, software, automation and telecommunications industries.
However, the site is now offering a “Technology Jobs” section which posts vacancies in New Zealand’s technology industries (apart from the IT industry).
While the site was posted to the Net only last week, it already carries 25 current technology job vacancies, with many more to be added over the next few weeks.
Site manager and journalist Graham Hawkes says his eight years covering the electronics and telecommunications industries have seen many technology companies in this country emerge as highly successful exporters returning millions of dollars in export revenue to New Zealand.
However, most of them are suffering from an ongoing skills shortage. Many companies are looking to attract expatriate New Zealanders, with suitable skills, back to New Zealand.
Others are looking for technologists from other countries who could emigrate to New Zealand.
Print advertising for skilled staff is an expensive and static method of attracting job applicants, but Hawkes says a Web site - accessible from anywhere in the world - is the ideal method of attracting technology job seekers.
“The Internet and the Web are now standard tools of trade for anyone who works in the technology and knowledge economy industries. These people don’t go out and track down trade magazines in the hope of finding their next job,” he says.
“They automatically turn to the Web to look for an employer, and they reason that if a technology company doesn’t have a Web presence to tout for job applicants, they aren’t serious technology industry players.”
Graham Hawkes says the “Technology Jobs” section of his Desktop News Web site is currently restricted to around five “pages”, but he believes it will very quickly evolve to become a Web site of its own.
“I’ve been amazed at the response to just a few isolated emails I have sent out in the past week or so,” he says.
“I feel like someone who has just invented the perfect mouse trap. Expert
personnel consultants who work in the technology area have reacted very positively. They know that Desktop News is not just an isolated job site, but a well-read news and information site which has been catering to the technology industries for a couple of years - and which has a strong following.
“The expansion of the site into job finding is a logical one, because the skills shortage is the major recurring news story I have covered for the technology industries over the past five years or so.”
“If New Zealand companies don’t immediately start to aggressively seek skilled staff all over the world, the Americans will steal everyone on offer. At last count, the United States had a 346,000-strong job deficit in information technology-related industries - principally programmers, systems analysts and computer scientists - but many electronics workers as well.”
Hawkes is about to open an “Industry Forum” section on the new Desktop News Web site, which he hopes will help the highly competitive technology industry in New Zealand to communicate better on common problems.
“Without doubt, the skills shortage is the industry’s most important problem of all. All these guys had better start using the Web to help solve it, or the massive demand from the US alone will shut them out.”
The Desktop News site can be found at: http://www.DesktopNews.co.nz
Click through to the “Technology Jobs” section and its related pages.
Contact: Graham Hawkes, Desktop News, P.O. Box 128-101 Remuera; Tel 0-9-529 5979, Fax 0-9-524 7942
Mobile 021 654 356 Email: Electronics@DesktopNews.co.nz ;Web: http//www.desktopnews.co.nz
ENDS

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