There is both a strong global demand for AI specialists (including machine learning experts and data scientists) and an increasing supply shortage.
This working group on ‘Growing the AI Talent Pool’ will look at how we can:
- Increase the number of students taking AI courses at universities
- Offer essential non-technical courses and short courses
- Attract international talent to bridge the short-term supply gap
- Introduce AI to students at school to encourage the choice of AI-related fields as a career
How we’re doing it
- Conducting research: to scope out the key topics
- Surveying key stakeholders: including businesses and educators
- Raising awareness: by attending hui, joining the conversation and presenting our findings to education influencers
- Engaging experts: such as employers, technology educators, and government departments
Working Group Leadership:
Gerald Minnee (Co-Lead)
Matt Boyd (Co-Lead)
And others who have joined the conversation…
Our work covers 3 themes:
- Increasing the supply of AI talent
- Encouraging AI student diversity
- Teaching AI in Schools
We have just completed five short scoping reports across these themes, which helped focus our attention on the areas of most need.
We’ve been engaging with stakeholders including technology educators, the Ministry of Education and MBIE
In 2019 we aim to complete:
- Development of a case: for introducing AI/machine learning in the Intermediate Skills Shortage list
- A survey of businesses: to identify key barriers to the supply of AI talent; also demand for local short courses and non-technical AI courses (ethics, law, management, social consequences)
- A survey of technology teachers: to help identify opportunities and resource/professional development needs for teaching AI in schools with in the new Digital Technologies curriculum and possible new initiatives
- Delivery of a presentation: highlighting the importance of introducing AI concepts in schools targeting technology educators at key meetings
- Scoping of a plan: to work with teachers to develop an initial learning module supporting an introductory classroom session on AI (and make this freely available)
Areas of interest for future
Moving forward we are very keen to explore possible synergy with organizations that are helping to develop the skills and capabilities of technology teachers. This will help grow New Zealand’s capacity to grow diverse talent at home.
We are mindful that curricula change slowly, and we aim to work with rather than against ongoing developments such as the Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum refresh, and innovations by tertiary institutes.
Are you an expert or a motivated technology education champion?
- We would love to hear from any technology educators, teachers, trainers, or anyone who has an interest in further integrating AI talent development into technology education in New Zealand at all levels (schools, tertiary institutions, or ongoing professional development). Contact us here