Digital services consultancy Arq Group has tapped Swinburne University of Technology for its new in-house corporate academy. Under the deal Arq Group’s nearly 400 employees will be able to study co-created “micro units” that will form a customised Graduate Certificate.

The four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and agreement will consist of several, two-year classes with the first class featuring 18 ARQ Group staff members, starting late August 2020.

ARQ Group CEO, Tristan Sternson said that the program is a first for the tech industry in Australia and is free for staff, with the 12 micro-units designed in collaboration with Swinburne.

“ARQ Group is a market leader in data, digital, AI, and cloud-based solutions and we have a proud history of always being first. We were the first to bring the internet to Australia, we registered the first domain names, created the first websites, developed the first apps and the ARQademy is yet another first.

“All of our consultants are experts in their field, but we want everyone who works at ARQ Group to understand the full offering, not just their area of expertise. This is key to ensuring that we continue to make a positive impact for all of our customers.

“We don’t see this as a cost but an investment in our staff and our business. Whether you are working as a designer, project manager, engineer, sales or operations, over time we want all of our staff to graduate from the ARQademy,” said Mr Sternson.

Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Pascale Quester says the partnership represents Swinburne’s commitment to developing and delivering education that is co-created with industry and directly relevant to an evolving workforce.

“This partnership further positions Swinburne as a leader in training people from all backgrounds to be prepared for the future of work. We understand that learning is a lifelong process and that education is important for anyone, at any stage of their career. We are delighted to partner with ARQ Academy who shares this vision.”

Swinburne Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Business and Law, Professor Michael Gilding says the partnership is part of the mission of the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) to support workplaces in upskilling their employees.

“Our partnership with ARQ is the second of its kind in the AGSE, following a similar arrangement with the financial services firm Pitcher Partners. It aligns closely with our goals in relation to business technology, entrepreneurship, innovation and industry connection. We continue to focus on exploring B2B partnerships which provide valuable opportunities for workplaces to upskill their employees.”

Alistair Booth has been working at ARQ Group for the past 7 years as a Senior Software Engineer and will be one of the first staff members to take part.

“The ARQademy will help me gain a greater understanding of what we do every day across the entire business. That means that when I am being briefed by a customer, I have a better understanding of the full arsenal of tools at our disposal to help provide a winning solution.”

The Graduate Certificate can be used as the foundation for further study, including a master’s degree and the suite of micro units will cover a variety of discipline areas, including:

Design thinking and creativity
Entrepreneurial mindset
Information systems and business analytics
Leadership
Cybersecurity and ethics
Artificial intelligence

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