A professional development centre for people to upskill in areas of high growth is opening in Auckland to fill the need the technological revolution poses.

Frances Valintine, the education futurist behind The Mind Lab, has developed Tech Futures Lab to fill the space for professionals to equip themselves with technical and business transformation skills.

The centre will offer five full-time 10-week programmes for cybersecurity, robotics and automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, data science and big data and business innovation and disruption.

People skilled in these areas are in demand around the world, Valintine said.


"In New Zealand if you're trying to find those people [skilled in these areas], they literally do not exist. Cisco says there's a million job vacancies in the world right now for cybersecurity analysts," Valintine says.

Valintine expects to see a mix of employees being upskilled by their employers and people at a transitional career stage through the course. Companies such as ASB, IAG and SkyCity have come on board.

"We are living in an environment where business disruption is transforming the world around us at an incredible rate, and entire industries are being forced to overhaul their business models in order to survive.

"We are standing on the beach and the tidal wave is about to hit. No job, sector or
industry is immune."

The lab itself in Newmarket isn't a traditional classroom environment.

"It was very important to me to have a space where you could have easy conversation and a strong connection with the industry," Valintine says.

"I suspect there will be quite a culture of innovation and start-up... I think people will go, between us all we could create a new company."

The programme in partnership with Unitec will be begin in September and be limited to 16 people per course.