As 2019 comes to an end and the forum looks forward to an ambitious work programme for 2020 it is worthy taking stock of the current activities forum members have in train – a great range of strategic and tactical projects.

Enjoy the break and join us in preparing Aotearoa for the future of work armed with digital technology skills and capabilities in 2020. Ngā mihi, Victoria on behalf of the Digital Skills Forum members.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – The 2019 edition of the New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy includes a cyber security workforce component. DPMC are looking to collaborate with industry, the education sector, and other government agencies on this to ensure they are leveraging other initiatives and helping prioritise cyber security as a key digital skill for development.

Department of Internal Affairs – The GCDO has recently released the Strategy for a Digital Public Service. This provides  the direction to the Public Service particularly around Integrated Services for Customers and Business, Leadership and Capability, Digital Foundations, Investment and Ways of Working.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – MBIE are progressing the Digital Skills Hui recommendations and exploring how these can inform various work programmes.
The Digital Technology Industry Transformation Plan consultation has raised skills as a strong theme including – pathways into the workforce, outreach to schools, curriculum and upskillsing.
In the small business space there is a focus on Digital Adoption with a new strategy in development.

Ministry of Education – A major focus for the Ministry at present is the Reform of Vocational Education, a massive transformational project. The new Digital Technology Curriculum is continuing to be adopted.

Tertiary Education Commission – There is a Careers System Strategy in development, which includes looking to replace with an integrated suite of digital tools for all New Zealanders eg: looking to enhance for career pathways and transferability of skills and leveraging research such as the Hidden Links, New Opportunities report.

InternetNZ – Recently hosted a meeting of Digital Inclusion Ecosystem organisations in Aotearoa where the Good Things Foundation presented their model in the UK and Australia and facilitated a session on where the ecosystem here could leverage their work.
InternetNZ is developing an online home to better connect the digital inclusion eco-system.  This website will provide information on digital inclusion initiatives being run around New Zealand, research on digital inclusion, and information on funding sources.

NZTech and the Tech Alliance of industry groups – The AI Forum is focusing on increasing diversity of the AI workforce. TechWomenNZ, a member of the Tech Alliance continues to run programmes to help encourage girls into tech roles and has been developing and testing a mentor programme to support young women in the tech sector.

IT Professionals NZ the industry professional body – ITP is leading the industry feedback on Workforce Development Councils, as part of the large change happening in the Polytech sector, and the model TEC are developing for these. ITP has been contributing to the Asia Pacific Regional Skills Project (industry digital skills) an APEC initiative working with the 21 economies in the region. This initiative encompasses challenges such as how we develop a skills system and recognise the skills for transferability between economies. The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) has been agreed as the framework for a pilot programme. Other phases will extend to include micro-credentials. ITP has also been co-leading a scheduled review of all sub-degree ICT Qualifications with NZQA. This includes some structural and other changes, plus looking to bring more emerging skills and technologies into the framework eg: a greater focus on Cloud Computing, data analysis, DevOps, etc.

NZRise – has been leading the industry engagement on Regional Skills Leadership Groups which are to be established as part of the Reform of Vocational Education. NZRise members are establishing a resource sharing database which will include guides for employers on skills development, on the job training and pathways into the workforce.