14 September 2017 · Absolute IT
The latest Absolute IT Christchurch Report shows that Canterbury is a dynamic region with a tech sector that is competitive, innovative and gearing up to address future tech needs.
One of the positive markers for future tech growth in region is the new South Island ICT Graduate School that opened its doors on 22 August this year. It aims to produce graduates with work and business focused skills that are relevant in the key regional sectors such as agri-tech, health tech and communication products.
“This is excellent news as 90% of IT employers in Christchurch are planning to recruit IT staff in the next year. While tech companies are always on the lookout for skilled individuals, they prefer talent that understand their industry challenges and business needs. Graduates that have worked with local businesses during their studies will be more attractive to employers as they can immediately hit the ground running,” says Grant Burley, co-Founder, Absolute IT.
Challenges for IT employers
In a market that is growing it comes as no surprise that IT employers are reporting that they are finding it harder to attract talent every year.
“Figures show that since 2015 there has been a 6.5% YoY increase in the difficulty rating from IT employers trying to attract talent. This can be due to the increase of activity in the IT sector in the region as well as the sharper overall demand for IT and digital skills from the market. It is in fact the same issues facing IT employers across New Zealand.”
The most in demand skills from employers in the region is software development, business analysis and cloud/digital skills and IT employers in Christchurch state that growing their market share is their biggest business challenge.
Sharp rise in contracting rates
The Report found that most IT jobseekers in Christchurch are permanent workers (78%) that earn a median base salary of $79,000 and contractors (22%) are earning a median base rate of $95/hour.
“We have seen a sharp rise in contracting rates in Christchurch over the last year, up 27% from 2016’s median rate of $75/hour. These numbers are more in line with the contracting rates in Auckland and Wellington and it would be interesting to see if these rates stabilise around this figure or keeps on rising,” says Burley.