Industry Connect is part of the six groups were shortlisted following stage one of a two-stage tender process. “The new schools will connect tertiary education and industry to deliver more of the ICT skills New Zealand needs by lifting the training of our next generation of high-tech professionals to another level,” Mr Joyce says.

“It is crucial New Zealand lifts significantly the number of people with high level ICT skills and knowledge so they can help drive a more innovative economy. The strong level of interest from tertiary education providers and businesses indicates we will see some solid proposals to deliver smart approaches to ICT education.

“This is an excellent opportunity for companies to influence New Zealand’s future ICT talent, and for students and institutions to work with some of our most creative firms as they build the skills and knowledge to drive our economy,” Mr Joyce says.

The graduate schools, a $28.6m Budget 2014 initiative, are expected to cater for at least 350 students between them annually, once fully established.

The shortlisted groups have until early March 2015 to submit proposals.

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