An open letter to the New Zealand public

Dear New Zealand

As employment is increasingly redefined by technology and new skills, the job market needs to respond in new ways to find talent. Skills will replace fixed knowledge and new jobs will replace the old. These new jobs need to be adaptable and offer applicants the ability to learn on the job. The pace of change is rapid.

As businesses, we acknowledge that the skills we are looking for in prospective employees can now be developed through a range of pathways. While traditional tertiary education has its place, it is one of many pathways to employment. Internships, apprenticeships, new micro-credentials, on the job training, online courses and badging are all effective ways to learn. For many, the time and cost of gaining a tertiary qualification without certainty of employment means we all need to think outside the box to connect people to jobs and opportunities.

As such, we confirm that for a range of specific, skilled-based roles in our companies, we do not require tertiary qualifications. These may be roles in technology, sales, marketing, customer service, management, manufacturing and operations to name a few.

In adopting this recruitment policy, we hope to attract a more diverse workforce with wide-ranging experience. We appreciate there are many highly skilled people with practical experience, self-taught skills, passion and the motivation to learn on the job if given the opportunity.

We will now consider applicants for a wide range of roles regardless of whether or not they hold a tertiary qualification. As businesses, our focus will be on assessment of necessary skills, attitudes, motivation and adaptability to join our organisations. Prior work experience (full or part-time), community work, portfolios, online learning and entrepreneurial endeavours will be some of the things we will consider during the employment process.

One place that you will be able to find these jobs is on the Trade Me Jobs site, with a clear indicator that no tertiary qualification is required to apply.

We are excited by the opportunity to engage with a wider cross section of the New Zealand public through our recruitment processes and welcome the chance to diversify the experience within our businesses.

We welcome other New Zealand businesses to follow suit and broaden the diversity of their talent pools by considering a wider range of applicants for roles. If you are a business that would like to join this movement as a signatory to this letter, please contact frances.savage@asb.co.nz and attach your company logo.

We recognise that new jobs require new skills. We welcome a new generation of employees with diverse skills and talent.

 We look forward to changing the conversation.

*Many of the above companies providing their support for this initiative have not previously required a degree qualification, but they are supporting this cause in the interests of changing perception and amplifying the conversation.