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An IT Worker Transfusion? 7 September 2000 Edition
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Last week I received two phone calls from recruitment agencies asking if I was available to do some Java programming.

That in itself isn't so unusual, I get several calls a year from such agencies who like to "stay in touch" with people who were once on their books -- just in case they are looking for work.

I had to decline the generous offers of $85-$100/hour but took a moment to chat with one of the consultants. He said there was a serious shortage of good IT people and it was almost impossible to fill many of the positions on their books.

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Have Your Say

It appears that this skilled IT worker shortage is really compromising the ability of many local hi-tech companies to grow and expand -- or in some cases -- survive.

I was not surprised therefore to read that the NZ Immigration Service is teaming up with Trade NZ and the IT Association of NZ in a bid to attract skilled IT workers from India.

India is well known for turning out a huge number of well qualified software developers and Microsoft has endorsed India's own IT industry by investing some quite significant sums of money in the country.

I find it hard to fathom however, exactly how it can be that a left-wing government can sanction a system that encourages the flight of smart, hard-working Kiwi programmers and replaces them with labour from a third-world country. Surely that's an anathema to the "workers rights" philosophy which pervades the Labour party?

Personally I have no problem with attracting skilled workers from any part of the world -- in fact I'd say it's absolutely essential -- they are the fuel of a new economy after all. What I do think is totally stupid however is simply giving our local IT industry what amounts to a worker-transfusion.

If we are just replacing those skilled Kiwis who are leaving in increasing numbers then we achieve no forward progress. Might it not make more sense to create a social and economic environment that encourages these Kiwis to stay here in the first place?

New Search On Aardvark
If you look at the bottom of the page (past today's headlines) you'll see that I've added another search form. This form will allow you to search the WWW or the Aardvark site using the extremely good Google search engine.

Okay, I fess-up -- each time the search form is used I will earn one cent in US currency (that's about a thousand NZ dollars) so I feel, in accordance with my policy of total disclosure, I have to admit that small fact.

Actually -- if you're looking for a site-centric search form for your own website then take a look at the new 4 Free SiteSearch service now available in beta form from Google.com. It's very simple to add and, if you've got a lot of archived material like Aardvark has, it can be an extremely useful addition.

No -- this isn't an MLM thing -- I get nothing for referring you to this new service and I'm only doing so because I think it could be of value to others.

I note that not all the Aardvark archives have been spidered by Google so there's still no guarantees you'll find what you're looking for.

Lighten Up Tomorrow
Thanks to those readers who have sent through suggestions for tomorrow's Lighten Up section -- I love that Aussie one!

However, there's still space available so send me the URL of the funniest (or strangest) things you seen on the Web and I'll share them with Aardvark's readers.

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request