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Satyam's Geelong plan to boost Aussie IT gene pool

Outsourcer Satyam has announced a major investment in Geelong, Victoria's second city, where a full-scale campus will eventually provide training and global career opportunities for up to 2000 recent university graduates.
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Written by David Braue on

Outsourcer Satyam has announced a major investment in Geelong, Victoria's second city, where a full-scale campus will eventually provide training and global career opportunities for up to 2000 recent university graduates.

The positions will be created at Satyam's new Technology and Learning Centre, which will sit on a 25-acre campus near Geelong-based Deakin University, Satyam's partner for the project.

The facility, which will offer residential accommodation and training resources designed to lure new recruits, is modelled on similar campuses around the world, but the Geelong facility is Satyam's first such endeavour in a developed country.

"It is not a centre for doing low-cost offshore work, but for doing high-end work that requires a customer interface," said Satyam CEO Rama Raju. The choice to site such a facility in Australia, he said, reflected the company's desire to expand its presence in this country, which is currently served by 600 Satyam staff working from development centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Rather than trying to pull increasingly scarce skilled workers out of Australia's labour market, however, Raju said the firm was looking to develop the overall market by targeting engineering, mathematics or similar graduates from Australian universities around the country.

"If we just started [recruiting from] the pool of experienced people, we would be doing the country no good," he said. "Any company can come start fishing in the working pool, but our idea is to develop and add to the local economy and ICT industry, and to build a climate in which we can start growing [Australia's skills base] again."

Deakin University will provide links to Australia's academic community, as well as engaging Satyam in collaborative activities including staff exchanges, a work integrated learning program for students, a graduate employment program, joint research activities, scholarships and prizes.

Recruits to the centre will go through a six-month training period that includes three months' training at the facility, and three months shadowing another developer.

After six months, recruits will be called upon to assist with projects at Satyam customers around Australia, and overseas opportunities will become available after two years with the company.

The first 50 recruits have already started working at the fledgling centre, with numbers expected to expand to 100 by the time construction on the standalone campus begins some time around the year's end. By 2016, Raju expects the facility will have reached its full capacity of 2000 trainees.

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