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Project skills helped international student graduates work-ready

Immigration NZ, Education NZ and ATEED together created a programme to help IT international students to kick-start their career in New Zealand.

New Zealand plays a big part in the international education market. The international students who graduate with Information Technology degree represent a vital pool of talent for New Zealand employers, many of the employers are struggling to find enough local skilled applicants.

However, sometimes the graduates and the employers fail to connect. On the one hand, international students lack New Zealand job market experience, while on the other, many New Zealand employers know little about recruiting or working with international student graduates. The pilot programme was jointly created and run by ATEED, Education New Zealand (ENZ) and Immigration New Zealand.

Project Skills included study-to-work seminars, an Industry-Connect Boot Camp for international graduates in software development and testing, and an employer-graduate networking evening.

One of the main component of Project Skills was a six-week Industry Connect Boot Camp for international students who had graduated with a computer or IT related degree. Twenty graduates took part in the programme, which set out to equip them with the technical skills popular in software industry and soft skills that would make them job-ready.

As one of the organisers, Jason Chand of MBIE, says the programme has succeeded on quite a lot of measures, one of them being jobs. “I know a number of the boot camp graduates have been interviewed by software development companies, and some of them have taken up job offers and are now out there developing apps for the finance sector and software testing for the transport sector. It’s great to see skilled international graduates contributing to the New Zealand economy.”

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