ARQ signs digital reskilling partnership deal with Hawthorn FC

27 June 2022 3 min. read
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Tech consultancy ARQ Group has signed a partnership agreement with Hawthorn Football Club, which will see its AFL and VFL players gain digital skills for a post-playing career.

With a massive ongoing digital skills shortage in both Australia and around the world, many consultancies have been seeking out fresh recruitment channels in the hope of uncovering largely untapped potential talent.

Accenture has recently turned to Australia’s migrant community, while McKinsey has been helping to reskill older workers in Singapore. PwC last year launched a Salesforce training academy exclusively for Indigenous students.

Now, ARQ Group, a digital tech services consultancy recently bought by Singtel’s NCS, has come up with another novel approach to boosting local tech skills, one which may help to solve two growing issues at once. The firm has signed a major partnership with the Hawthorn Football Club’s VFL team the Box Hill Hawks, along with the Hawks Netball Club, which will provide digital training and employment opportunities for their players.

While concerns around the challenges in the transition of elite athletes to a post-sporting ‘civilian’ life continue to grow, the new deal will see the club’s players be given the opportunity to participate in ARQ’s ‘The Digital Experience’ bootcamp and gain invaluable work experience alongside the firm’s 560 or so employees. The aim is to provide skills in high demand tech roles for a career after sport, extending to the club’s AFL players.  

“I’m extremely excited about this partnership,” commented ARQ CEO Tristan Sternson. “As ARQ strives to change the narrative around the tech skills shortage, we are proud to be able to offer skills training and career opportunities as part of our partnership, creating impact and inspiring the next generation, in addition to building close connections between the sports and business communities at both the community and elite levels.”

As part of the agreement, ARQ will also serve as presenting partners for Hawthorn’s inaugural AFL Women’s (AFLW) season launch and Hawthorn’s professional development seminar ‘The Game Plan’, as well as act as an associate partner of the ‘Hawthorn in Business’ corporate networking series. In return, the firm will receive branding on the Box Hill guernseys, signage at their home ground, and other opportunities with key coaches and players.

“We are proud to share this new partnership, as we welcome ARQ into the Hawthorn family. Similarly to Hawthorn, ARQ prides itself on being a real leader in its own industry,” said the club’s Chief Commercial Officer Ash Klein. While Klein currently reports to Jeff Kennett, former AustralianSuper boss and recent KPMG recruit Ian Silk has been tipped as a potential replacement when the long-term president eventually steps down likely this year.