TECHNOLOGY and outsourcing giant Accenture is to move to a larger Tyneside base after creating nearly 70 jobs in the last year.
The world’s biggest consulting firm, which last year turned over US$25.5bn, opened its Tyneside operation 15 years ago in a converted hospital building in Jesmond, Newcastle, to handle part of the UK technology consultancy services business, It focused on businesses in the North of England and it grew to employ 205 staff.
But a year ago the Dublin-based firm turned its North East centre into its first UK global delivery centre outside London and now has a customer base which stretches across the UK and overseas.
The increase in business saw it take on 68 staff over the past 12 months and it is now poised to move into a new much larger base on Tyneside which has room for many more staff.
Senior executive Bob Paton said: “We are very proud of our growth and our position as the biggest IT services provider in the area and that we have been able to create these jobs in Newcastle.
“This centre was chosen to be a global service centre because of the quality of its staff and the expertise available here. It was getting very tight in the current site so we are about to sign an agreement to move into a new centre which is open plan and much better suited to our work.
“We may not see our staff grow by 33% every year but we are continuing to grow our business and are getting more work from around the world. I have been talking to customers in France and America in the last couple of weeks.”
The company said it has never had problems finding the quality staff it needs and works closely with Newcastle and Northumbria universities. It has helped Northumbria University design IT courses so they are better suited to students finding jobs when they graduate.
Paton said: “We have never found it hard to find the highly-qualified staff that we require and we are doing our bit to help to stop the brain drain of our best people out of the area.
“We have kept our light under a bushel for years and I think it is time to change that.
“We are in the middle of the biggest financial crises we have ever seen and we are doing very well, partly I believe because more companies are outsourcing more at the moment. We are getting more work as more companies look to be closer to their IT support and they would prefer to work with UK centres.
“We can provide the quality of work that they are looking for and can build a stronger relationship with the clients here than some other centres. ”
The company plans to move over the next few months from its current base in the Fleming Business Centre in Jesmond, but has not confirmed its new base as it has not signed the papers to lease the site.
Accenture, which began nearly 50 years ago in the US as an offshoot of accountancy Arthur Andersen, is now a Fortune Global 500 firm working with many of the world’s biggest corporations.
It employs more than 236,000 people across its offices in more than 130 countries and although based for the past two years in Ireland is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.