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Tertiary education not required at SKYCITY

Businesses sign open letter to present new approach to recruitment.

SKYCITY is proud to be one of more than 100 companies to sign an open letter declaring tertiary qualifications are not required for a range of roles across the company.

The open letter titled ‘NZ Talent’ was signed by a range of New Zealand companies with an aim to change the conversation around education in New Zealand.

“SKYCITY has long recognised that there is a broad range of experience that can qualify a person for a role, and that a tertiary qualification is often not required. We have a number of team members at all levels, including myself, who don’t have tertiary qualifications and are absolutely the best person for the job,” says Amanda Tolley, Group Talent and Organisational Development Manager. 

The open letter, on behalf of all signatories, states that tertiary qualifications are not required for a range of skills-based roles at their organisations, and instead the focus during recruitment will be on assessing the skills, attitudes, motivation and adaptability of applicants.

SKYCITY has long recognised that there is a broad range of experience that can qualify a person for a role

Trade Me, a signatory, also launched a ‘no qualifications’ search filter on a the Trade Me Jobs site to highlight skills-based roles being advertised with no qualification required. Job hunters can search these roles through the Trade Me job site or at

The open letter is an initiative under the ASB/KPMG Strategic Insights Panel (SIP), a group of 30 senior business leaders from New Zealand companies who have set a goal to help double GDP per capita growth from 1.5% to 3% by 2021.

The letter is one of the pieces of work panel members think can help achieve that goal.

Frances Valintine, who co-led the NZ Talent initiative under the SIP, says the letter recognises the growing demand from employers for skills that are often learned outside the traditional tertiary framework.

“Businesses across New Zealand are struggling to find talented employees that can bring enthusiasm, natural talent, passion and potential to their companies as qualifications do not always reflect the true capability of applicants,” Valintine says.

“Solving the talent crisis requires bold new ways to match people, capability and jobs and I believe removing the fixed requirement for a formal qualification is a great first step.”

EdCollective chief executive Luc Shorter says tertiary education remains valuable but cannot be considered the only route to employment.

“Traditional tertiary education will always have a place, but industries and the way people access knowledge has changed and is continuing to change at pace. As such, we need to validate additional pathways for getting people into skilled jobs,” Shorter says.

“People learn a great deal from their work and life experience; we need to be more open to valuing that.”

ASB executive general manager business Steve Jurkovich says ASB shares the view there is a growing demand for contemporary skills which are often learned outside formal education programmes.

“We hope the letter will start a conversation around the different pathways to prepare young people for employment and what businesses can do to attract the right talent in the fast-changing job market.”

Open Letter signatories:  

ASB, Adherium, AIA, AMS, Animation Research, Artificial Intelligence Forum NZ, Autex, AWF Madison, Bidfood Limited, Bobux, Booktrack, Buckley Systems, Cardinal Logistics, Catalyst, Ceres Organics, Child Fund, CoHired, Colliers International, Countdown, Criffel Station, Delmaine, Direct Capital, Eat My Lunch, Ed. Collective, Edmund Hillary Fellowship, Enspiral Dev Academy, Epay, Euro Corporation, Exess Connectivity, Figure NZ, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Fonterra, Foodstuffs North Island, Fronde, Frontside, Giftstation, Go Bus, Harrison Grierson, HiFX, Hi-Tech Trust, Hunchbuzz, Iceberg, Icebreaker, Icehouse, iMoko, Intergen, Invenco Group Limited, IT Engine Limited, Jucy, Kiwirail, Kotahi, KPMG, Manaiakalani Trust, Metlifecare, Microsoft, Moa, Mondiale, Movio, My Food Bag, Naveya and Sloane, Next Foundation, Noel Leeming, NW Group, NZ Rise, NZ Tech, NZRS, OMG Tech, Optimal Business Intelligence, Optimisation, Osynlig, PledgeMe, Prestige Law, Pure Commerce, QualIT, Radius Care, Ria, Roam, Ruckus Media, Rush Digital, Safestack, Shine, Skycity, SMX, Solarcity, Soul Machines, Spark, Spidertracks, Summerset Group, Swaytech, Tech Futures Lab, The Exponential Agency, The Mind Lab, The Warehouse, Torpedo 7, Totara Learning, Tourism Holdings NZ, Trade Me, Trilogy International Limited, Unfiltered, Unitec, Vector, Vend, Venture Centre NZ, Vista Group, Waiora Pacific, Warehouse Stationary, WorldFront, Xero


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