Deloitte University to allow staff to rise through ranks

by Cameron Roberts

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19 Dec 2013

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BIG FOUR FIRM Deloitte has opened a university in its own name, which will allow staff members to attend courses to progress through its ranks.

Stevan Rolls, head of HR at Deloitte UK, is heavily involved in the University, named Deloitte University Europe, the Middle East and Africa (DU EMEA). He saysthat it was "part of a global strategy" that started three years ago in Dallas with its first university.

The new university's opening, on Monday 16 December, included speeches from former Boomtwon Rats singer Bob Geldof and global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Barry Salzberg.

Rolls says that the launch was about "bringing together different thinkers", adding that "the aim was to collaborate and create a think tank on the future of learning".

The University

The courses offered by the university "are designed to guide people through their career" at Deloitte. "From manager up to partner, the curriculum will be part of their working life," explains Rolls.

"Leadership and development is one side of the curriculum, as employees come through the ranks the university will teach them the skills they need to effectively fill their role at Deloitte," Rolls said.

Another aspect of the university is based around industry knowledge, to help staff "deep dive" into their industry and will give staff knowledge of the world they work in.

Techniques used to teach at DU EMEA are "simulation based" as "learning through experience" is "a much more effective way of learning".

"This is all facilitated by Deloitte leaders, staff will gain a better understanding of how to solve these problems through their experience."

At the moment "no external certification exists that the university provides". However, Rolls insisted that "the skills are applicable outside of Deloitte, as the university will teach abilities that will be useful in the industry".

Diversity and Inclusion

The "global strategy" is in place across the board for Deloitte, Rolls says that every sector of Deloitte is working on inputting a university strategy.

"Though the courses offered may not be physically at a university in some sectors, the curriculum could be put into place locally."

He also stressed the importance of diversity: "Coming together and working as an international company is a top priority for the university".

The new university aims to emulate the inclusion at DU. "The Dallas University is a centre for creating inclusive leadership through diversity, bringing together people from mixed backgrounds helps to naturally grow leaders".

In order to facilitate learning in all sectors, the university is combined with coaching by senior members of staff in the more traditional way.

Staff and Client collaboration

A unique strategy in place by Deloitte is that "staff and clients come together on courses", currently this is not in place in Europe but Rolls is "confident" that it will be on its way in the future as it has proved successful in Dallas

Currently the university boasts 'client experience labs' (DCELs), which allow staff and client collaboration to solve complex business problems.

Speaking about this, he says: "It (DCEL) works off of a very well established research technique, this involves staff and clients parallel processing problems in order to solve them at a faster rate".

Deloitte will hope that its innovative learning environment, creating an ethos of collaboration and inclusion, will bear fruit.

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