29 June 2011

Firm maps out a path for graduates

One of New Zealand's leading geographic data suppliers has successfully introduced a graduate programme to help deal with a major shortage of skills in the industry.

Critchlow took on three Victoria University graduates last year as part of its pilot programme, all with science and technology backgrounds.

The programme has proved so successful, the Wellington-based company is about to recruit five more graduates with similar skill sets in what has become an annual intake.

"There's a shortage of good skills in this industry," says Critchlow chief executive Jos Kunnen.

"We're constantly looking for good people, so rather than poach others we saw hiring graduates, training them, and investing in them as a good business opportunity.

"The sector is growing fast, there's a lot of innovation.

"By creating employment opportunities, we're contributing to the overall sector - we're very much focused on doing the right thing for New Zealand."

Critchlow is one of the country's largest providers of spatial-based services and products, its client base including more than 500 organisations in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.

Mr Kunnen championed the graduate programme, keen to help young people into jobs while at the same time growing the company with an eye to the future.

"It's a win-win situation and it's really paid off. These are talented people with good potential competencies. They've integrated into our team [of 30] well and I'm pleased with their results so far," he says.

"They bring some additional fresh thinking and enthusiasm to Critchlow, they get excited about some of the things our more experienced people take for granted and we can leverage our experience capability so we can achieve things more quickly than we could without them."


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