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UK IT professionals wanted in New Zealand capital city as part of recruitment campaign

The government of New Zealand's capital city is looking for IT staff from around the world to address a skills shortage

New Zealand’s capital city Wellington wants to address its IT skills shortage with a global recruitment drive, and Brits will have an advantage due to the shared language.

The LookSee Wellington campaign will select 100 IT professionals from around the world, pay for flights and accommodation, and arrange interviews for them that match their skills and experience. This will happen between 8th and 11th May 2017.

The project, aimed at addressing the city’s IT skills shortage, is led by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (Wreda) and the New Zealand arm of global recruitment company Workhere.

IT professionals who want to apply have until 20 March to register and apply.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said the city has to be creative in attracting talent because of the fierce global competition for talented tech professionals.

“LookSee Wellington is about giving people who might be open to moving to this side of the world a chance to come and have a look before deciding to relocate, and without having to pay to get here to inform their decision making,” said Lester.

“It’s also designed to make it easy for them to meet multiple employers – to make the best use of their time – and get the chance to see and experience what else Wellington has to offer.”

Wellington’s tech companies have already made it global. For example, online accountancy giant Xero has about 900 IT startup companies.

“There are huge opportunities for talented tech professionals to enhance their careers doing work that’s right up there globally, while also enjoying a great lifestyle at the same time,” said Xero CEO Rod Drur.

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In 2013, the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) asked members to estimate how many more skilled workers they needed over and above the flow of recruits coming from the nation’s universities. They said they needed 10,000 new people over three years.

Wellington is as far as you can fly from Heathrow, London before you start coming back. New Zealand’s capital is almost 19,000km and at least 24 hours away. The city is small by European standards, with only 200,000 people.

Ben Amor, from Wiltshire in the UK, is one Brit IT professional who made the long move. He is now CTO at ShowGizmo, which has an app that helps event planners coordinate great events.

“There’s a lot of collaboration in Wellington firms, and not just at startup level. The geographical remoteness doesn’t seem to be a factor in terms of taking product to the world,” he said.

“I've noticed there are a lot of British people who come over here to have a look and end up staying, and you get an awful lot of New Zealanders who go to London and think it’s nice but return after a year. That says something.”

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