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A New Zealand city is flying 97 people from around the world just to interview them for tech jobs

Stu Forster/Getty Images

While countries like the UK, the USA and Australia are looking to restrict the import of foreign workers, a New Zealand city is flying 97 people from 28 countries to interview them for technology jobs.

The LookSee Wellington promotion offered technology professionals around the world the chance to be flown to the New Zealand capital for free to meet with tech companies to fill the skills gap there – and it ended up attracting 48,000 applications.

“The skills being sought by the Looksee Wellington employers are in high demand in New Zealand and globally, so it’s really gratifying to see such a highly skilled group so enthusiastic about the possibility of coming to Wellington,” said Immigration New Zealand national marketing manager Greg Forsyth.

There are two Australians that will make the short trip across the ditch, but the biggest contingent is from the USA, where 29 candidates will cross an even bigger ditch.

From the cohort, more than 40 Wellington businesses – including big names such as Xero and Datacom — will be looking to fill mid- to senior technology roles, including programmers, integrations specialists, test analysts, network engineers, systems administrators and even chief information officer. The minimum term for any job offers are dependent on the employer.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency business growth & innovation manager David Jones said outside of the 97 people shortlisted, the longer list of high-quality tech talent willing to come to New Zealand was a “valuable resource” for the city.

“We’ve identified and connected with more than 1,000 very qualified tech professionals who are excited by the idea of investing their future here. We’re now looking at options to make the most of this opportunity, for the benefit of Wellington, and New Zealand,” he said.

Top 10 nationalities of candidates

  1. United States (29 people)
  2. Canada (9)
  3. UK (8)
  4. India (7)
  5. Argentina (6)
  6. Brazil (4)
  7. Philippines (3)
  8. Australia (2)
  9. France (2)
  10. Israel (2)

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