KPMG and University of Newcastle create new technology hub

17 November 2021 3 min. read
More news on

The University of Newcastle and KPMG will forge a partnership to support graduate employment pathways.

Professional services firm KPMG is teaming up with the University of Newcastle to create a new technology hub at the firm’s Newcastle offices, which will see 100 graduate positions added over the next five years. The organisations will also be looking to collaborate in other areas, such as through advisory panels, hackathons, and guest lectures, with KPMG to further provide industry input into the curriculum.

“This new venture will position Newcastle as a strategic regional hub and provide opportunities to diversify industry and employment in the Hunter,” said University of Newcastle’s Vice-Chancellor Alex Zelinsky, himself a noted technology scientist. “Students will be able to develop practical, applicable skills and knowledge through placements and create lasting networks that will pave the way for a successful career.”

KPMG and University of Newcastle create new technology hub

The new partners believe the arrangement will not just be mutually beneficial to each organisation, but to the wider Hunter region, with the technology hub to facilitate the development of industry ecosystems and stimulate investment in Newcastle. The pair will also develop community initiatives to support skills transitioning, as well to further advance Indigenous access to local employment and training.

“We recognise that the Hunter is perfectly positioned with its mix of industry, innovation, workforce and opportunities for advancement and diversification,” said KPMG’s National Technology Partner, Richard Marrison. “Our collaboration with the university means we can now work closer and more effectively together for the benefit of the region. We will be able to directly engage with students through placements.”

With 100 new jobs slated over the next five years, the first cohort of graduates will commence at the hub this coming February – with the hub intended to serve national clients across ‘software as a service’ implementations and managed services. To better prepare students for relevant pathways towards careers of the future, KPMG will also have input into the University Program Curriculum around current industry expectations.

This latest announcement follows a recent trend of such agreements between academic institutions and the professional services realm, driven by converging market factors. Firstly, the growing dearth of qualified ICT workers in Australia (Deloitte estimates a shortfall of more than 50,000 workers per year over the next five years), which is occurring at the same time as disruption and funding shortfalls in the higher education sector.

Of particular note is the move towards professional services organisations helping to shape the curriculum while building up their own talent pipelines. In September, Accenture announced a partnership with the University of South Australia, including the establishment of a digital business academy, while last week IBM said it would build an innovation centre at Charles Sturt University’s Bathurst campus.