Up to 150 jobs for Ballarat

UP to 150 jobs will be created at Ballarat’s IBM within the next four years.

Visiting Ballarat yesterday, Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips announced the creation of 150 new jobs at University of Ballarat’s Technology Park.

The jobs will start being created immediately, with the quota of 150 to be filled by 2016.

The investment in jobs means IBM will employ almost 1000 people at its Mount Helen base - more than half of the total number of workers at the technology park.

Mr Rich-Phillips said the investment showed the strength of IBM in Ballarat and how crucial its work was in the information communications technology sector.

“Ballarat is considered as being the best location in terms of regional cities in Australia for information technology,” he said.

“It is central to the work done in Australia and IBM has been a great success story in that.”

The new investment will lead to the establishment of an IBM Asia Pacific Centre of Excellence for software testing.

Mr Rich-Phillips would not disclose the sum of the investment, saying there was an existing agreement between the government, UB and IBM that oversaw the arrangement.

He said the flow-on impact it would have on Ballarat would be enormous.

“A recent economic impact study found that every job created in the Ballarat technology park creates another job in the region,” he said.

Sydney-based IBM Australia and New Zealand managing director Andrews Stevens said the investment showed Ballarat was leading the charge into a new era.

“We are now entering the dawn of a new golden era, an era built on digital technologies, high-value services and world class skills, and what’s best is that that era is unfolding right here in Ballarat.”

UB vice-chancellor Professor David Battersby said there were now 1500 employees at the technology park, which would increase to 2000 over the next four years.