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NZ Government paves the way for the next generation of public sector IT and digital leaders

NZ Government paves the way for the next generation of public sector IT and digital leaders

Government CTO Tim Occleshaw welcomes the first 15 GovTech Talent graduates

The inaugural GovTech Talent graduates during the welcome event at the National Library in Wellington.

Front Row (L-R): Henare Royal, Tyrone Smith, Sahif Ali, Lisa Zondag, Louise Kendall, Rose Hu, Grace Kim

Back row (L-R): Jonathon Kearney, Jarrod Bakker, Daniel Talbot, Chris McDowall, Alice Barnard, Kate Forward, Nathan Mountfort, Jacob Ong (plus two of the graduates’ whanau)

The inaugural GovTech Talent graduates during the welcome event at the National Library in Wellington.

Front Row (L-R): Henare Royal, Tyrone Smith, Sahif Ali, Lisa Zondag, Louise Kendall, Rose Hu, Grace Kim

Back row (L-R): Jonathon Kearney, Jarrod Bakker, Daniel Talbot, Chris McDowall, Alice Barnard, Kate Forward, Nathan Mountfort, Jacob Ong (plus two of the ...

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has welcomed the inaugural participants in the GovTech Talent Graduate Programme, a cross-agency project to build the information, technology and digital talent pipeline in government.

"This is an excellent opportunity for today’s best and brightest graduates to help shape a new way of working for and with government,” says Tim Occleshaw, Government Chief Technology Officer, at an event for the graduates at the National Library in Wellington.

The graduates come from a wide range of disciplines including engineering, information management, law, linguistics, arts, computer studies and genetics.

“We have an impressive lineup of talented graduates. It’s fantastic that they’re starting their careers on this track, and I’m excited by what the future holds for everyone involved in the programme,” says Occleshaw, in a statement.

This is an excellent opportunity for today’s best and brightest graduates to help shape a new way of working for and with government

Tim Occleshaw

“From the start, we’ve sought graduates with a combination of technical and behavioural skills like leadership potential, problem-solving and curiosity. Our attraction campaign and selection processes reflected this,” says Sonitha Aniruth, manager ICT and digital leadership capability programme at the DIA.

“Out of 460 applications received, we’ve chosen a group of 15 diverse and smart people. They really impressed us with their ability to make connections, their passion for New Zealand and their commitment to being part of digital innovation in government,” says Aniruth.

“We’re very optimistic for the graduates and the future of the digital talent pipeline. It’s a great start for a career in a future-focused public sector, and the agencies involved are happy to play our part to make this happen.”

Read more: The government CIO agenda: Flip from ‘legacy first’ to ‘digital first’

Over the next two years, the graduates will spend eight months each in three participating government agencies and will be offered unique opportunities to develop their skills and harness their potential as tomorrow’s information, technology and digital leaders.

DIA is leading the GovTech Talent Graduate Programme, which is a key component of the Government ICT Strategy’s leadership focus area and part of the Government Chief Information Officer’s efforts to accelerate digital transformation across the public sector.

DIA co-designed the programme with six other government agencies – Inland Revenue, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Primary Industries, NZ Transport Agency and Statistics New Zealand.

Occleshaw thanks the partner agencies that co-designed and supported the programme. “It’s great to work closely with them to play our part not just in responding but in leading change in a rapidly evolving environment.”

Craig Soutar, CIO of the New Zealand Transport Agency, cites the importance of the graduate programme in the light of his department’s programme to modernise its IT infrastructure that includes adopting the cloud and taking advantage of opportunities around the Internet of Things.

Craig Soutar, New Zealand Transport Agency
Craig Soutar, New Zealand Transport Agency

“One of our ongoing challenges is hiring smart and innovative people to work on this programme,” he tells CIO New Zealand.

“We know that we share this challenge with the rest of the public sector, and that demands for these types of skills will only increase with Government expectations of ICT as an enabler of radical transformation of public services, and the challenges and opportunities arising from digital disruption.

“We see the GovTech Talent Programme as critical to growing the type of information and technology workforce which we will need to be successful. We also know that while this will be good for us, it will be good for the public sector too as this is a long-term investment in our public sector capability which will reap rewards for many years to come.”

Sonitha Aniruth, manager ICT and digital leadership capability programme, Department of Internal Affairs: “From the start, we’ve sought graduates with a combination of technical and behavioural skills like leadership potential, problem-solving and curiosity. Our attraction campaign and selection processes reflected this.”
Sonitha Aniruth, manager ICT and digital leadership capability programme, Department of Internal Affairs: “From the start, we’ve sought graduates with a combination of technical and behavioural skills like leadership potential, problem-solving and curiosity. Our attraction campaign and selection processes reflected this.”

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

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Tags leadershipwellingtonCIO100succession planningTim Occleshawinternshippublic sector ciomentoringDepartment of Internal Affairsgovernment CTOdigitaldigital leadershipgovernment CIOgraduate programmestrategy

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