04 Apr Westpac Business Awards – Techtorium Wins Excellence in Community Contribution award for 2021!
What an amazing evening we experienced on Thursday 24th March. Suits, ties, incredible catering, a gorgeous venue, and the company of a host of incredible businesses from across Auckland. Vastly different from 2004, when we first opened our doors to a grand total of four students and Managing Director Patrick Dowling filled the roles of everyone from the trainer to the janitor. The evening felt like a culmination of all the efforts in the intervening time. It felt like recognition. It felt like a new beginning, a first step towards even bigger, better things.
We were nominated for two awards: Excellence in Community Contribution and Excellence in Innovation. This was a surprise and an honour, even more so when we made it into the finals for both. It goes without saying that we were ecstatic to find that we’d won in one of them. A feeling that has not diminished since the moment our name was read out for the Excellence in Community Contribution for 2021.
From our humble beginnings, we have served to ensure that students gain comprehensive knowledge and skills that enable them to thrive in the ever-changing industry that is IT. We put students in a position where they are not simply finding jobs but beginning careers. As well as this, we aim to help fill New Zealand’s IT skill shortage by supplying companies with exceptional home-grown talent. More than this, though, we aim to create change. Specifically, change targeting historically under-represented groups in New Zealand, and more specifically in IT.
In 2019 as part of a review of our strategic goals, and planning for the future, we identified a disproportionately low number of Māori and Pasifika learners entering computer Engineering and Software Development Diploma courses. In terms of population makeup, the IT industry is 4% Māori and 2.8% Pasifika while the actual population in Auckland is 11% Māori and 15.5% Pasifika. Knowing that the long-term impacts on the economic and employment prospects for these communities are significant, we decided to focus on what we could do to make a big difference to these communities through targeted Secondary School Programmes and securing future-proof careers in the IT industry.
Through these initiatives, we have been very pleased to see our 2021 numbers of Maori students increase from 22 to 35 (14% of the total student population) and our Pasifika students increase from 29 to 55 (20% of the total student population). We have had immense success securing employment for graduates from these communities through our Industry Pathways program, the formation of Industry Partnerships and a comprehensive pre-employment training and support program, including CV writing, mock interviews, Interview etiquette and driver’s licenses. The impact of these initiatives on whanau and aiga is significant and generational.
From here we aim to continue improving, providing ever better service to our Auckland communities. We know that Auckland’s IT industry is set to keep growing with Microsoft, AWS, and more investing billions into our Cloud infrastructure. One of our goals is to make sure students with the skills make the most of all the opportunities this presents. With our new satellite campus open and our Industry and Tertiary pathways teams ever building new relationships, the present is bright, and the future is so much brighter.
Most importantly, we want to thank everyone that got us to this point. Every industry partner and educational partner. Every teacher, career counsellor and anyone else has referred a student to us. The current and former team members that has helped us build towards what we are today. Thank you to our amazing students and all the communities that we serve. Finally, thank you to Patrick and Jan, our Managing Director and CEO, for your kind leadership and drive that has and continues to positively impact so many lives. Here is to many more years of service to Auckland and New Zealand’s communities.