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TechEd LIVE: Microsoft NZ urges IT industry to mentor next generation

12 Sep 2014

Microsoft NZ is calling for IT professionals to pass their tech skills on to the next generation of young New Zealanders to help meet the growing need for skilled employees in the tech industry.

At this year’s TechEd NZ event – Microsoft’s annual four-day conference for developers and IT professionals – 2,500 attending delegates have been challenged to step up and register their interest in becoming mentors for the High Tech Youth Network (HTYN).

A group that offers vocational and education pathways for students into high-performance digital learning and training, the mentoring programme – called Tech Shed – aims to connect HTYN members aged eight to 25 with tech companies and business networks, which can help them with concept development and building their practical business acumen.

“Mentors play a vitally important part of the work we do with families and the wider community as they provide real-world opportunities for young people to learn about enterprise development in the tech industry," says Mike Usmar, CEO, High Tech Youth Network.

“There are many ways IT professionals can mentor in our network – whether it be through virtual connections, regular in-person support at our studios or by sharing their knowledge at one-off workshops.”

Microsoft New Zealand’s Managing Director Paul Muckleston says he is continually inspired by the High Tech Youth Network’s success in empowering young people and communities to help bridge the technology gap to help prepare them for their futures.

“To date, the HTYN has helped provide skills for more than 7,000 young New Zealanders who are now going to be future industry leaders," he adds.

"However, there are currently around 10,000 job vacancies in the wider IT industry in New Zealand, and this is only going to grow.

“With the help of IT industry mentors, we hope to inspire young New Zealanders to imagine and build a better future for themselves – all while building a skilled and innovative workforce in New Zealand that is equipped to prosper in the global economy.”

Earlier this year Microsoft announced sponsorship of the High Tech Youth Network to the value of $1M in cash, software and services, to support their network of High Tech Youth Studios, located in West Auckland, Manukau City, Hamilton, Tauranga, Moerewa (Northland) and Whakatane. Sites in Dunedin, Fiji, Samoa and Hawaii are also currently in development.

To register your interest in mentoring High Tech Youth Network members visit www.hightechyouth.org/volunteeryourtime

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