Press Release: Learner Me to Tackle chronic Tech Skills Shortage
Updated: Jan 26, 2021
By Hayden Shearman
New Plymouth’s Learner Me is New Zealand’s newest NZQA-accredited IT training provider and has a mission to combat a chronic technology skills shortage.
“In 2016, 14,000 new jobs were created in the tech industry in New Zealand,” explains Simon Singh, Founder of Learner Me, “but that year there were only about 5000 graduates with some sort of tech qualification. So, it’s easy to see the scale of the skills shortage we have here in New Zealand.”
Simon is also the Director of New Plymouth’s tech repair and service centre, Proformac Technologies, which was founded by Suman and Seema Modgill in 1989 and recently celebrated a major milestone of becoming an Apple Authorised Service Provider (one of only eight in New Zealand). The Learner Me concept was born from their frustrations in finding staff.
“The training school grew out of a need we had for more skilled workers to join our Proformac team,” explains Seema. “So, now we have a pipeline of employees to draw on for our own business and young people especially get a real kickstart for their careers learning in an apprenticeship-like setting.”
Stephen Hill, principal of Opportuna CA and a director of Learner Me, emphasises the key role that Learner Me can play in boosting Taranaki’s technology economy: “The genesis story of Learner Me coincided with Taranaki’s Tapuae roa Strategic Plan, which added further impetus for us, as a region, to create a truly world-class technology training academy in our own backyards.”
Simon explains that part of the problem with the skills shortage in tech is the fast-changing nature of the industry. This is where Learner Me breaks away from the model of lecture halls and textbooks.
“Traditional education providers certainly have their place,” says Simon, “but employers are crying out for workers with up-to-date practical skills and experience. So, we’ve designed Learner Me courses to be updated every six months so they’re on the cutting edge, delivering job-relevant skills in a simulated work environment.
“We’ve also gamified our learning platform so, although you’ll learn at your own pace, you’ll stay engaged and motivated.”
The connection of Learner Me to the real-world industry of Proformac is another key feature. “Students are learning directly from industry professionals,” says Suman, “and we’re partnering with local organisations to enable our students to work and learn on-the-job on real world IT solutions.”
Course offerings at Learner Me include short micro-credential courses in computer skills and web design, programmes for high school students, and level 6 qualifications in tech specialties such as app development, networking and cyber security.
Learner Me is located at 127 Gill Street, New Plymouth, For more information and course offerings, please visit learnerme.com