More than 48,000 international candidates have completed submissions in the hope of joining Wellington’s booming tech sector, via the LookSee Wellington programme.
With the deadline for submitting applications closing last week, the final tally of applicants has exceeded organisers’ targets many times over.
Wellington City Mayor Justin Lester says LookSee Wellington has caught the imagination of tech people worldwide.
“New Zealand’s international reputation for quality of life is very strong, and the opportunity to do exciting, leading-edge, growth-oriented work in Wellington’s tech sector is clearly a highly attractive proposition.”
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) Chief Executive Chris Whelan says that LookSee Wellington works alongside WREDA’s programmes to support development and retention of local talent.
“As Wellington’s strength in knowledge-intensive creativity becomes ever more valuable in an increasingly connected world, we have a tremendous opportunity. By succeeding globally in these high-value sectors, we can create a better future for Wellington.”
Pre-screening of the 48,000 submissions by project partners Workhere New Zealand is already well underway. Workhere will create a shortlist of under 1000 candidates for consideration by registered Wellington employers.
Employers will then nominate applicants they would like to interview for mid- to senior-level positions. Up to 100 selected candidates will visit Wellington in May, with flights and accommodation paid for, to undertake at least three job interviews and get a taste of life in the region.
Workhere Managing Director Damian Sainsbury says the quality of applicants is very high.
“The submission process made it very clear that genuine skills, experience and desire to relocate are essential to progress, so people just looking for a free holiday quickly dropped out. That means our talent pool is already distilled, and the sheer volume of applicants means we’ll be putting the very best people in front of our employers.”
Marie-Claire Andrews, founder and CEO of registered LookSee Wellington employer ShowGizmo says the company is excited by the response to the campaign so far.
“The biggest systemic obstacle to growth for Wellington tech companies has been recruiting enough experienced talent to meet our needs. There’s a global shortage of quality tech talent, and as well as developing our own, we’ve got to compete internationally to access the best. LookSee is about Wellington working together to turn an obstacle into an opportunity.”
Greg Forsythe from project partners Immigration New Zealand says LookSee Wellington has tremendous potential.
“New Zealand has great tech talent, but right now the demand for senior experienced people is greater than supply. LookSee gives Wellington – and New Zealand - a unique opportunity to access to the highly-skilled individuals who can help drive our economy forward in the years ahead.”