Unitec Institute of Technology and the Rosebank Business Association (RBA) will establish a joint venture to provide training, development, research and mentoring services to businesses operating within the Rosebank region.
The region, which is in proximity to the Unitec campus accounts for a wide range of businesses in the manufacturing, retail and services sectors.
Occupying 195 hectares, the Rosebank Business precinct accounts for a host of large, medium and enterprises.
The Auckland Spatial Plan 2030 has identified this industrial zone as a significant site for growth, with the workforce expected to rise to more than 20,000 from the current strength of 7500 employees.
RBA President Mike David and Unitec Chief Executive Dr Rick Ede signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a ceremony held at Unitec Campus on September 22.
Research & Training
The new initiative will provide business capability assessment for Rosebank businesses, tailor training and development programmes, support applied research projects, and offer expert knowledge and mentorship.
The diverse range of programmes taught at Unitec would be useful in promoting the objectives of the new venture.
The Joint Venture will be governed by a board of directors, representing the two organisations and comprise local business leaders and officials of the Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development.
Dr Ede said the MOU, stated to be the first of its kind between a tertiary education provider and a business association, provides terms of reference, objectives and modus operandi for the Joint Venture.
“Tertiary providers and the business sector often work closely, but we believe the scope and intention of this new partnership redefines the potential of that relationship. It is completely intended,” Dr Ede said.
According to him, Unitec has a proactive strategy to work with key community, business and employer groups.
“Such strategy is new and innovative, to fulfil our duty as a major contributor to the social and economic prosperity of our region. We are absolutely delighted to be on this journey with the RBA,” Dr Ede said.
A Unique Solution
RBA chief executive Mike Gibson described the new joint venture as a unique answer to the demands of modern business.
“I look forward to exploring the ways in which our members can improve what we do through this new partnership. I see benefits not just for those businesses immediately involved, but over time, the west and indeed the Auckland region,” he said.
Dr Ede said that like the RBA, which is based in the Whau area, Unitec has strong roots in West Auckland with two of its three main campuses based in Mt Albert and Henderson.
About 23,000 students benefit from programmes that range from foundation level to post-graduate courses, he said.
“Both organisations are well-established in West Auckland, with the expertise across a broad range of specialties to assist the business sector, including business capability, computing, product design and engineering,” Dr Ede said.
Mr Gibson said that $55,000 pilot research project on forecasting software, with collaboration between Passage Software Limited and a post-graduate computing student, demonstrated the value of research collaboration.
“Since the recession, most businesses have faced some testing challenges and yet many have not had formal education around best business practice, which might better equip them in the tough environment,” he said.