Ratepayers' money used to lure IT talent

1:23 pm on 25 May 2017

Nearly 100 IT specialists from around the world are in Wellington this week looking at potential jobs in the capital's technology sector.

Male hands on a laptop

Photo: 123RF

They have come to the city at ratepayers' expense but the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) said the cost was worth it.

WREDA business growth and innovation manager David Jones said the job-seeker campaign, LookSee, had attracted 48,000 prospective employees and 97 of them had been brought to Wellington.

"It's an international fight for the best talent to enable us to grow in Wellington our tech community. As we grow that community there will be more opportunities for people to get jobs within it."

Mr Jones said the campaign had exceeded expectations, with 1.8 million hits on the website.

Sean Fisher from Houston was one of those who took advantage of the free trip and accommodation in Wellington, and said he was serious about wanting to work in the city.

"This would be a great opportunity for my family to live internationally and so applied and was fortunate enough to come down here.

"It is a nice free week in Wellington, of course, but yeah my wife and I have previously talked about coming internationally and you know we're serious about coming here to Wellington," Mr Fisher said.

Mr Fisher said he had already had several job interviews this week.

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