Westpac offshores 119 systems maintenance jobs

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Westpac offshores 119 systems maintenance jobs

IBM, two more vendors grow outsource share.

Westpac has flagged plans to cut a further 119 IT jobs from local operations in the latest round of outsourcing to the bank’s technology partners.

Staff at the company’s offices in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria were told of the cuts last week.

The cuts would generally impact systems maintenance roles and would be outsourced to vendors specified under the bank’s 20-month Applications Services Transformation program, first unveiled in November.

It is understood IBM is one outsource partner for the bank but a Westpac spokesman would not confirm which partners the jobs would be outsourced to.

“We want to retain our core high-skilled technology workforce in Australia but some IT roles can be more efficiently provided by external specialists,” the spokesman said.

The job cuts comes as the latest round of IT transformation at the company, which included the introduction of a new multi-sourcing initiative and significant changes to IT executive roles at the bank.

Outsourcing costs accounted for $592 million in expenses during the 2011 financial year for Westpac.

“Westpac has a responsibility to invest in jobs and skills in Australia, and they can afford to do just that,” said Leon Carter, Financial Service Union national secretary.

“Instead, what we see is this ‘race to the bottom’ mentality with one goal - to boost their massive profits even higher at the expense of loyal, skilled Australian workers.”

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