Unitec-IBM centre beats target

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 14:42 19/08/2014

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Unitec says more than 500 jobs have been created at a centre it opened in conjunction with IBM at its Mt Albert campus in Auckland 18 months ago.

The centre is one of 50 that IBM has set up around the world in partnership with tertiary education providers to provide software development and support for its clients.

IBM and Unitec signalled when they announced the facility in 2012 that they expected it would create jobs for 400 full and part-time staff, many of them Unitec students, by February next year, but they said today they had exceeded that target.

Since the facility opened, a third partner, Concentrix, has joined the mix as a result of the sale by IBM of its business outsourcing division to Concentrix's United States parent, Synnex, last September.

Unitec spokeswoman Liz Phillips said about 220 Unitec students had jobs at the centre, where they typically worked between 15 and 30 hours a week.

"Concentrix and IBM are flexible around the availability of students and their study commitments," she said.

Unitec said its goal was to create "work-ready" graduates by providing the opportunity for its students to get work experience and mentoring at the centre during their studies.

"Unitec students are benefiting from unique career development opportunities and developing skills that are highly valued by employers, giving them a significant edge when they graduate and look to transition into another job," chief executive Rick Ede said.

Concentrix regional manager Peter Monk said the centre was supporting "a leading Fortune 100 electronic consumer goods company" that was one of its clients.

Staff and students at the centre are also carrying out software development for IBM client Westpac.

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