In Box: IBM and UNITEC in tertiary training partnership

In the first collaboration of its type in New Zealand, IBM opened its multi-million dollar Delivery Centre at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland in February.
The centre will prepare students to work in the digital economy and provide businesses with access to new skills in mobile and analytics, and advanced technology.  
“This investment adds to IBM’s long history of collaborating with the tertiary sector to develop graduates with the right skills to work in today’s services oriented economy,” said Jennifer Moxon, IBM New Zealand MD. 
Westpac is the anchor customer for the new venture which will give more than 100 Unitec students and graduates paid work that complements their academic studies and provides the bank with technical and IT support.
IBM anticipates that the Delivery Centre, based at Unitec’s Mount Albert campus, will employ up to 400 people within the next two years including full-time and part-time professionals, as well as Unitec graduates and current students. IBM’s investment in the Unitec collaboration will also enable annual scholarship programmes and jointly developed guest lectures, mentoring, internship and graduate hire programmes.  
The new facility is part of IBM’s global network of more than 50 centres and will leverage IBM’s global expertise in delivering business process outsourcing and services to clients locally and internationally.
These services include human resources, finance and administration and customer relationship management as well as supply chain management and remote technical support. They will use advanced analytics to maximise operations, cut costs and provide continuous innovation for IBM’s clients.
IBM is partnering with Westpac to deliver application development and management services including data management, JAVA development and business process modelling.
The team, comprised of post-graduate and under-graduate computer science students and supervised by experienced IBM developers and managers, will be located in secure facility at Unitec. The five-year contract represents additional IT capability for Westpac in New Zealand.
A feature of the IBM/Unitec collaboration is extended industry based ‘Earn As You Learn’ placements which provide valuable experience for students studying IT, business management and communications degrees.
Unitec’s chief executive Rick Ede says students will benefit from working with IBM and other leading businesses before they graduate; companies like Westpac will benefit from access to skilled and motivated workforce; and the business community will benefit by being able to access job-ready graduates. M

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