IBM announces 300 new jobs in Victoria, but automotive sector still cutting workers

After weeks of big companies announcing savage jobs cuts, technology giant IBM bucked the trend by announcing it would create up to 300 jobs by opening a $10.8 million information technology services centre in the Victorian regional town of Ballarat.

After weeks of big companies announcing savage jobs cuts, technology giant IBM bucked the trend by announcing it would create up to 300 jobs by opening a $10.8 million information technology services centre in the Victorian regional town of Ballarat.

The new IBM centre will be located in the Ballarat Technology Park, which is owned by the University of Ballarat. Vice-chancellor of the university, Professor David Battersby, says half of the 817 staff IBM currently has at its Ballarat facilities are graduates or students at the university.

The new jobs will be created in areas such as business processing, security, call centres and technical support.

The Victorian Government stumped up $5 million to assist with the establishment of the centre. Premier John Brumby says the centre will contribute $61 million to the local economy.

But it wasn’t long before the shine was taken off this announcement with news that more jobs were being axed in Australia’s beleaguered automotive industry.

Brake manufacturer PBR, which is majority owned by German car parts giant Bosch, will cut up to 80 jobs at its Melbourne factory, while axle supplier Unidrive will cut 40 jobs.

The cuts follow the announcement of job losses of up to 350 at Ford last week and the axing of 80 workers at truck maker Kenworth.

While car unions have predictably called on the Federal Government to increase assistance and protection of the car industry, these demands are looking increasingly outdated.

The new jobs at IBM and the continued slashing of jobs in the automotive industry highlight the structural change underway in the Australian economy.

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