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IT services giant Accenture is adding 60 people to its Technology and Consulting workforce in North East England to work with its customers in the healthcare and public sector.

The jobs will be at a variety of levels and is part of the company’s efforts to increase its UK consulting resources outside London.

Mark Larsen, managing director for Accenture Newcastle, said the company already has a strong presence in the North East. “New hires will enable us to further expand our local footprint and ensure that our strategic consulting advisory practice is well-positioned to take advantage of the wealth of talent and opportunities in the North East,” he said.

Norma Redfearn, the elected mayor of North Tyneside, said the supplier has contributed significantly to the regional economy in recent years.

The Newcastle operation was originally seen as a way of getting a different mix of people and skills to complement other regions. For instance, agile development might start in Newcastle and then be scaled in Mumbai.

The centre was first used to support government customers that did not want data going overseas, but this has changed. The centre is also an alternative for UK customers that might not have the volume to justify a large offshore shared services contract for operations, such as Salesforce, by offering a small local alternative.

The Newcastle operation has also pioneered IT apprenticeships. In 2013, local youngsters joined the company’s scheme at Accenture’s Cobalt Business Park near Newcastle.

The company’s first round of graduates at the Newcastle scheme saw 14 males qualify. The second group, who completed the programme in September 2016, had 19 graduates, and the most recent group is the largest with a total of 30 people.

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