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University Of Otago Auckland Appointment

The University of Otago recently appointed Phil Gates as Employer Liaison Officer, a new position based in Auckland.

American born Mr Gates has lived in Auckland for the past 10 years, working for the first three years for a private consulting firm in the financial sector.

He was appointed US Trade Commissioner to New Zealand in 1993 and remained in that position for five years, returning to private consulting in 1998.

Mr Gates' role with the University of Otago is to liaise between the university and both the public and private sectors, making sure the university's graduates are well prepared to contribute to the success of their employers. By building stronger ties, the University benefits from the advice and involvement of employers to ensure that its courses are relevant to today's market. Employers benefit by reducing their cost of acquiring new employees that meet the specific needs of their organisations.

The position is a new one and comes about as a result of consultation with employers. A strong recommendation was that the university could strengthen its relationship with employers by appointing a liaison person based in Auckland, where 10,000 Otago graduates are in employment.

Mr Gates says another important part of his work is to help employers to develop programmes for employment of graduates.

"Bringing university graduates into the workforce is a way of invigorating and bringing new ideas and youth into the workforce," says Mr Gates. "Employers are looking for graduates who can communicate well, can work in teams well, can stand on their feet and make decisions well," he added.

For further information, please contact: Phil Gates University of Otago, Auckland Centre Tel: 09 3739717 Issued by: Barbara Crocker Consultus New Zealand Tel 09 309 2900

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