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Partnership continues to grow the pool of tech talent in Hawke’s Bay

Less than six months into their partnership, Hawke’s Bay based property-tech company Re-Leased, and web development boot camp specialists, Dev Academy Aotearoa are successfully bolstering a previously shallow tech talent pool by creating work-ready developers in 15 weeks, and they have no intention to stop.

In 2021, Re-Leased (an international business, developing innovative commercial property management software out of their Ahuriri office) was struggling to meet the demands of its rapid growth due to the limited talent pool for qualified coders and developers in Hawke’s Bay.

Already an industry where the demand for talent significantly outstripped the supply, the border closure in 2020 meant that those businesses working in technology now needed to focus on increasing home-grown talent sustainably.

For Re-Leased this opened the opportunity to work alongside Dev Academy – New Zealand’s most immersive online coding course. The course was also able to be offered free to successful applicants thanks to the Government Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), which supports learners undertaking vocational training without fees.

Following their initial outreach for applicants in late 2021,Dev Academy was overwhelmed with responses, which they believed, “reflected how many people in the region were thinking about changing careers, and were curious about a pathway to programming.”

Encouraged by the local enthusiasm to train in tech, Re-Leased and Dev Academy have continued to successfully collaborate and to date have commenced three cohorts, which will result in 11 new graduates, contributing significantly to the continued growth in this sector in Hawke’s Bay.

For Re-Leased, the benefits are obvious, “Partnering with Dev Academy has been the best initiative we’ve put in place to boost our Junior Developer talent pipeline.” states Talent and Engagement Consultant, Helena van’t Sant. “Not only are we able to offer full-time employment opportunities to several Dev Academy students each year, but we get to significantly contribute to the software development talent pool in Hawke’s Bay, and that benefits not only our industry specifically but our region in general.”

The partnership’s commitment and support to growing the tech talent in Hawke’s Bay is well-considered, and together the collaboration is successfully creating well-rounded, work-ready candidates, suitable to take on any number of roles within this burgeoning industry.

Tom King, Bridge Builder and Recruiter from Dev Academy explains that “The tech sector is increasingly looking for soft skills (Human Skills) as coding can be learned, but being able to be a good team member is much harder to teach. Because we teach these Human Skills as part of our curriculum, and Re-Leased provides each student a dedicated mentor for the course of the program which gives a “real-world” lens to their learning, our graduates can lean away from the more traditional coding route and find success in areas such as Testing, QA, Data Analysis, Customer Success, UX/UI, Business Analysis, Product, Agile/Scrum Coach, etc. All of which are in short supply country-wide.”

One recent graduate from this course and subsequent new hire of Re-Leased, Carol Silva is thrilled to have successfully graduated from the programme and excited to begin her new career at Re-Leased. Previously an Accounts Payable Team Leader for a local business, she decided to further progress a long-held interest and “​​finally learn about web development and how to code properly.”

Although the course work was fast-paced and demanded more energy than she imagined, the inclusion of Re-Leased on-site mentors helped tremendously, stating “The mentors helped a lot during the full course. When we were looking for different ways of developing a problem, faced technical and emotional challenges, or chatting about the work force and the real environment of a tech company, they were always available.”

It is this cohesive teamwork between Re-Leased and Dev Academy that is creating an environment of excellence and achieving world-class graduate developers, ready, willing, and able to help build the region’s ever-growing economy.

Given this successful partnership is now well entrenched, and agreed to continue for the foreseeable future, the focus now pivots to aligning with other Hawke’s Bay businesses looking to increase their recruitment pipeline.

Tom confirms that “70-80% of graduates from this course have historically been employed in the industry within a year (and most of those within six months), so the priority is keeping these new grads in Hawke’s Bay. We are now actively seeking to grow our relationships within the region to ease the transition of our students into their new career paths”.

“If you are a business looking to fill tech roles, we would love to hear from you.”

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