Monday news in brief 30th May

Victoria MacLennan. 30 May 2022, 11:45 pm

Monday news in brief 30th May

Kia ora koutou, It was a cold wet winters day today, the penultimate day of May, I was working from home with the fire going and merino socks on. The exhaustion of TechWeek is a distant memory but the people I met and mahi they shared are not, so today I am including one of my favourite events, along with an overview of the mentoring programme ITP offers and a review of chapter 3 from ITP’s history From Yesterday to Today. 

Now we have had more time to digest Budget 2022 it seem the government weren’t prepared to invest in closing the digital divide this year or supporting the broader skills needs of the industry and the wider workforce. While this is disappointing news the conversations are continuing in earnest, this week alone I have meetings with the Ministry of Education, DIA, MBIE and a variety of education delivery organisations on the capability needs of the industry now and into the future. If a more compelling business case needs to be developed for budget 2023 ITP will be there supporting those agencies in writing it. 

Over the past week I have also been engaging with two ITP functions I had no idea about before – Degree Accreditation and the Insurance Group Scheme we offer members access to. Interestingly enough both of these worlds – tertiary education and insurance – are undergoing significant change including quality and compliance uplifts so it’s a fascinating time to get involved. It looks like our insurance offering will be enhanced in the coming weeks so watch this space for updates. 

My inbox is also full of information on new micro credentials and short courses organisations are looking to establish / offer which is just so exciting! and will further enhance the ability for all of us to become continuous learners, upskilling and reskilling throughout our careers. Hope you can all stay warm and enjoy the long weekend ahead. Kia pai tō rā, Vic 

Growing the Industry – Scaffolding Employers need to in-still into their DNA 

During TechWeek TV I was lucky enough to interview two generous, focused women on the subject of growing the industry and the “scaffolding” employers need to install into their organisations DNA. We could have talked for hours on supporting interns and graduates, the model Toro Academy has developed with supportive employers which includes treating interns as all star talent. 

You can listen to (or watch) my interview with the wonderful Felicity Letcher from Toro Academy and Stacey Henderson from one of their employer partners disguise – Here

We continued the discussion focusing on the Toro Academy programme later in the day joined by the fabulous Nikora Ngaropo with his infectious enthusiasm and passion for creating opportunities for Māori youth. You can watch / listen to that discussion – Here.  

From Yesterday to Today, Education in Aotearoa

One of my favourite people, Professor Tim Bell, wrote chapter 3 on digital technology and the education system “Primary, secondary and tertiary education in Aotearoa New Zealand“.  Tim plays a unique role contributing to the fabric our education sector. His substantive role is teaching Computer Science at Canterbury University, he is the driving force behind CS Unplugged, was a significant contributor to the development of the Digital Technology curriculum taught in NZ schools and is my colleague donating his time governing Digital Future Aotearoa the charity who deliver programmes like Code Club and RAD (Recycle a device). So when Tim writes about anything I for one pay attention. 

 This chapter provides a wonderful chronicle describing in his words the “bumpy ride” computing education has experienced through the years, including a timeline from 1959 to 2020 – from the acquisition of computers in universities to the anticipated rollout of new content in schools. Tim reminds us of the differences between digital fluency and technical skills such as programming and how transformational learning these skills can be as we embrace the future of work.

Tim also recognises the importance of those working outside the funded Ministry of Education system working to augment the still significant gaps in teacher capability and dedicated lesson time within the core curriculum, something the Ministry is working to resolve at present – but until a new funding package can be secured he notes:

“This brief history cannot mention the countless institutions, private training establishments, university departments, teacher education organisations and volunteers who have worked hard to make a world-class computing education available to our students. The many thousands of software and IT professionals whose mahi represents a thriving industry in Aotearoa testify to their efforts.” 

Growing the Industry – Mentoring

I have written about mentoring before but it’s such an important piece of the career and capability development puzzle it’s worth mentioning again and again. 

ITP offer a mentoring programme for our members – it’s free to members and the mentors are amazing volunteers from across our membership. There is a fancy algorithm which matches mentors and mentees to ensure find the best possible person to support a mentees aspirations. 

This is one of my key areas of focus for 2022 expanding the programme, providing enhanced training and support for mentors and ensuring we attract a diverse range of mentors to meet the increasing diversity of our industry. You can read more, or sign up if you are in ITP member, here. If this is an area you want to engage in please drop us a line at [email protected] 


If you are looking for something to read this week, Human Rights Watch has published a report “Years Don’t Wait: Increased Inequities in Children’s Right to Education Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic“. There is a summary (which is a long summary) but scroll through for the recommendations if you are a TLDR person. Great insights, Vic.

Source: ITP New Zealand Tech Blog

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