Cloud customer relationship management (CRM) vendor Salesforce is gearing up train 400 Kiwis in its platform in partnership with Mission Ready and an expanded relationship with non-government organisation TupuToa.
“Salesforce’s recent Global Digital Skills Index showed that we are in a digital skills crisis and the gap is widening," said Salesforce country leader Hamish Miles. "While the demand for digital skills is high, the supply of people with these skills is lagging.”
The index gave a score of 28 for New Zealand’s workplace digital skills readiness. As a point of comparison, India was the highest-scoring country with 63, while Australia and the UK both scored 21 and the US received 36.
The research also found 82 per cent of Kiwis reckoned they are not equipped for the future of work. Additionally, while 80 per cent planned to learn new skills, only 20 per cent were very actively involved in workplace digital skills training programmes.
“As an industry, we need to do more to ensure that pathways to digital skills are accessible for all New Zealanders," Miles said. "We don’t have all the answers and have a long way to go, but working together is the only way to make progress."
TupuToa chief executive Anne Fitisemanu said the organisation's vision was to grow Māori and Pacific leaders for a greater Aotearoa in a range of ways.
"The Salesforce admin programme will help develop new skills and open up new career pathways, particularly in the tech sector, where we need to grow diversity," Fitisemanu said.
“We are also excited about the ripple effect of possibilities that education, skills and training provides – not just for individual learners, but also for entire whanau and wider communities.”
Auckland-based career development agency Mission Ready was set up to bridge the skills shortage by challenging the way the tech workforce is prepared. It has created an accelerator training model in collaboration with industry employers and leaders.
As part of that, learners are trained on in-demand professional skills, including agile and design thinking, and will gain three industry recognised certifications as well as experience on live projects.
“Our model appealed to Salesforce because of its short turn-around time, our social impact focus on inclusion and diversity, as well as our access to candidates who are motivated to change careers into the technology sector," said Mission Ready co-founder Diana Sharma.
"Mission Ready’s trained more than 300 candidates in the last three years with a large percentage transitioning from careers and backgrounds in teaching, business operations, performing arts, nursing and COVID-impacted industries like hospitality and tourism.”
Salesforce is growing fast in New Zealand, with sales up nearly 50 per cent in 2021 over 2020.
According to research firm IDC, Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners in New Zealand will create 26,000 new jobs and $9.7 billion in new business revenues by 2026.