In a move that could generate additional employment through development of skills, computer giant IBM has joined forces with Unitec Institute of Technology to establish the IBM Delivery Centre, the first of its type in the country.
IBM has similar centres in more than 50 locations worldwide.
A press statement issued in Auckland on August 9, 2012, said that the new Centre will be based at the Mt Albert Campus of Unitec and would become operational in February next year, employing fulltime and part-time personnel.
IBM and Unitec have signed an agreement to implement several collaborative initiatives including extended industry based ‘Earn as You Learn’ placements.
It will also provide students studying for IT, business management and communications degrees with valuable experience working in the IT industry as part of their studies.
According to the statement, the Centre would employ up to 400 people over the next two years, including professional and Unitec graduate 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 Partnership will be based on IBM’s model at the Ballarat Delivery Centre in Australia, which since establishment in 2005, is reported to have created employment opportunities and economic benefits to Victoria.
The New Zealand Centre will serve IBM clients with innovative business process and ICT services in diverse disciplines such as Human Resources, Supply Chain Management, Finance and Administration, Customer Relationship Management, Remote Technical and ICT support, and Consulting.
Unitec Chief Executive Dr Rick Ede said that these services will use advanced analytics to maximise operations, cut costs and provide continuous innovation for IBM’s clients.
“Working with a highly respected global company will give our students the head start they need to get a great job when they graduate,” he said.
IBM New Zealand Managing Director Jennifer Moxon described the Centre as ‘a great example of close collaboration between industry and the education sector to provide economic benefits and employment for the next generation of New Zealanders.’
“The collaboration with Unitec will develop graduates with the right skills to work in tomorrow’s services oriented digital economy as well as create job opportunities for New Zealanders. By bringing global investment and leading practices to New Zealand our objective is to establish a strategic delivery centre for our global and local client base,” she said.
The press statement said that the proposed venture added 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.
“Bringing innovative businesses such as IBM into the education environment is about matching the skills of our students with the demands of business and providing students with the experience they need to make a difference in their communities and in New Zealand.”
Unitec is the Sponsor of the ‘Best Medium Business Category’ of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2012.
Photo : Picture taken at the signing ceremony on August 9, 2012 shows (from left) Jennifer Moxon, Ross Mc Peake (Financial Solutions IBM), Dinu Harry (Member Unitec Council) and Ted van Arkel Unitec Council Chairman