Wellington seeks overseas talent as IT industry explodes

Grow Wellington has teamed up with tech firm Xero to attract skilled IT staff from the UK, an area where Wellington has a shortage of workers.

The regional economic development agency is at the Australia and New Zealand ‘Down Under Live’ trade events in Birmingham and Newcastle promoting Wellington as a great place to live and work, while Grow Wellington is also meeting recruitment firms in London who are looking to place candidates globally.

Xero, supported by recruitment firm 920 Career Agents, is also seeking more staff and will conduct interviews in the UK during May and June.

Gerard Quinn, chief executive of Grow Wellington, says that while there is a range of vacancies in Wellington, there is a particular need in the IT sector with more than 500 jobs available right now.

“Because Wellington technology companies such as Xero are growing so rapidly, they need more and more talented staff. It’s a wonderful sign of this sector’s success in the region,” Quinn says.

”For someone in the UK, moving to Wellington is a win-win situation. They get to work in a dynamic sector full of world-leading companies, while also getting a superb quality of life.

“We’re also keen to attract home Kiwis currently living in the UK. There are exciting things happening in the Wellington region and their overseas experience and bright ideas can help with those.”

Andrew Tokeley, Product Manager at Xero, says that Xero is looking to bring skilled IT staff to Wellington so the company can grow even more.

“We already have some amazing local talent working in our Wellington head office,” he says.

“But to grow even faster, we need to get creative and find new ways of attracting talent to our beautiful capital. This initiative has the potential to significantly increase the rate at which we can build our teams.”

The work is part of Grow Wellington’s focus on attracting business, investment and talented people to the Wellington region.

Last week, Grow Wellington was putting the case for Wellington at the biggest technology event in the Asia-Pacific region – CeBIT in Sydney – and a couple of months ago, was hunting for high tech talent at the South by Southwest (SXSW) trade show in Texas, an event Xero also attended.

“Wellington has the highest concentration of web and digital-based companies per capita in New Zealand, with Wellingtonians more than twice as likely to work in IT as in other regions,” Quinn adds.

“Globally, the sector is expected to keep growing phenomenally and Wellington is well poised to be a part of that.”

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