Software specialist Company-X has welcomed ambitious plans to grow and transform New Zealand’s agritech sector.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment published the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan in July.

The plan acknowledges the global skills shortage in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and outlines actions the ministry is taking in response.

The ministry is surveying agritech firms about current and likely future demand, the skills they need most and the skills that are hardest to find. The answers will inform further actions prioritised to address any skills gap.

Company-X co-founder and director David Hallett was recently elected Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Creative representative of the Waikato Regional Skills Leadership Group.

Hallett said the publication of the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan was timely and exceptionally relevant for the Waikato Regional Skills Leadership Group.

“It’s really great that there is government focus and support in this space,” Hallett said.

“We welcomed the announcement that the ministry was going to create an Agritech Industry Transformation Plan and now are really excited to see it’s been released.”

The Agritech Transformation Plan proposed reform of vocational education, the development of the skills component of the Digital Technologies Industry Training Programme, a marketing campaign, student grants, using the skills of Edmund Hillary Fellowship, Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarships and the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme alumni, and the creation of agritech peer to peer networks.