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Source: Qual IT

New Zealand owned and operated information technology (IT) quality assurance company Qual IT, has had to move quickly to secure a second intake of graduate trainees to ‘home-grow’ its IT employee base amid continued workforce shortages in New Zealand.

Eight new full-time employees have come on board in round two of their Graduate Programme, following quickly behind the first intake of six grads in August last year.

Prior to the border closure, more than 50 per cent of new IT jobs were filled via immigration. With workforce shortages in the industry continuing to bite, Qual IT has found a pro-active, long-term solution to this problem by investing in upskilling and training people locally.

“The first round of the Graduate Programme in August last year was so successful that we decided to fast-track and expand the second round, with the most recent graduates joining the Wellington office at the end of February 2022,” says Jill Thorburn, Qual IT’s Head of Practice & Capability.

Graduates complete four weeks of foundation training, one week of self-study and a research assignment, followed by two weeks of further technical training. Then they embark on an eight-week learning placement on a client assignment. This learning placement is fully supported by Qual IT.

The graduates come from a diverse range of backgrounds and institutions. One has re-trained after a career in banking and having previously owned their own retail business, one was a highly educated teacher, and another has opted for a change in career after a long period in the retail industry. They have seen the career opportunities available in the IT sector, and Qual IT’s Graduate Programme is helping them take their first steps into the industry.

“IT is an area with exceptional employment outcomes, and we’re providing local talent with more opportunities to enter the industry,” says Jill.

“We offer our graduates all the benefits of full-time employment throughout the 15-week training programme. The trainees aren’t all recent graduates, some have worked in other areas but decided they want to pursue a career in software testing.”

Dalvir Singh was one of the original graduates who joined the organisation seven months ago.  After completing the Graduate Programme and working on a project under the mentorship of a senior Qual IT employee, Dalvir is increasingly working self-reliantly on projects with major clients such as Transpower.

“Because of the training and mentorship of the Graduate Programme I’m now confident in my abilities to work independently with clients. It was a step by step process that meant I could see a constant progression in my abilities.

“Sometimes you have the skills but need a chance to get your foot in the door,” explains Dalvir. “Qual IT provided me with that chance and the guidance to start my career.”

Qual IT believes that the Graduate Programme will build more depth and longevity into New Zealand’s quality assurance industry by choosing to invest in local talent to meet the skills shortages facing the sector, and intend on growing the programme over time.

“Qual IT has a proud history of supporting and investing in people and the IT industry and is excited to welcome our new graduates. We look forward to supporting them as they build their careers with us,” says Jon McPhee, co-founder and director of Qual IT.

Further information on Qual IT:

Backed by 17 years of experience, Qual IT partners with organisations to deliver their business needs by providing expert Quality Assurance (QA) which includes Consulting, Business Analysis, Testing, Test Engineering and Information Security services to help ensure certainty for IT investments. Qual IT has provided QA services to some of New Zealand’s largest and most successful organisations and grown into a company with a client list of over 80 organisations across NZ and overseas with a team of over 250 permanent and contract QA professionals. Qual IT’s work across industries has included local and central government, SOEs, logistics, freight forwarding and shipping, aviation, IT, health, agriculture, insurance, banking, retail, transport, utilities, education, property, and telecommunications. Qual IT is a trusted partner of some of New Zealand’s largest enterprises including NZ Police, Transpower, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Tower. Qual IT HQ is in Wellington and they also have a significant presence in both Auckland and Christchurch as well as a satellite office in Hamilton.