With technology now a cornerstone of almost every business, it is vital for business owners and employees alike to know how to use the myriad of tools available. Sadly many, including those in the Start Up space, are missing basic skills, making the transition to more modern and efficient methodologies even more difficult.
"Technology is a wonderful tool but it is just a waste of space if we don’t know how to use it,” author, educator, and speaker Pam Martin says of the gaps in the knowledge of many kiwi entrepreneurs where technology is concerned.
"The millions of dollars being spent on ultra fast broadband will be wasted if we aren’t confident enough to make effective use of it. To increase productivity and growth in New Zealand we need to ensure that the majority of New Zealanders are comfortable, confident and productive around computers and other technology.”
Martin, whose company Positive Connexions runs the Kiwi Computer Challenge, says that for New Zealand to become a truly digital nation with entrepreneurs (and employees) comfortable and productive with technology we need to make digital skills a priority. Around three million people need to either grow their existing skills or gain the skills and access to use the web for the first time. Astonishingly, there are still businesses running without computers or the internet.
"Poor computer skills impact everyone and the ripples create issues at all levels. Our productivity is leaking out through the holes in our computer skills. If we can turn that around and fill in the gaps we will have a more productive workforce and more prosperous country.”
Positive Connexions offers the Internet and Core Computing Certificate (IC3), a global standard which is recognised in 143 countries, including many key trading partners. The IC3 provides a benchmark for New Zealand businesses that helps employers and organisations gain clarity around what computer skills employees, and potential employees, actually have. The certification has a central database that prospective employers can use to verify certification with the permission of a job applicant. Go here for more.