A new global finance services centre for an international education firm has the potential to bring 300 jobs to Belfast within the next three years
Around 100 people have already been recruited for centre set up by Pearson plc as part of its plans to unify its global finance function.
With around 35,000 in total and several thousand in the UK, the centre is the first foray by the company into Northern Ireland , backed by support worth close to £2 million from Invest NI.
A senior official said the firm has been attracted by that support but also the ready availability of skilled staff.
“These new roles will offer a range of opportunities for accountants and analysts that will provide career paths that will benefit graduates and those in the early stages of their career,” said Gareth Morgan, a senior vice president with the firm which is headquartered in London.
Suzanne Willmott, director and centre lead in Belfast said: “Northern Ireland is an ideal location for our global finance centre and we are thankful for the support of Invest Northern Ireland, the Department for the Economy, EY and other partners in enabling this move.
“This is part of a major efficiency programme across Pearson’s finance function, which will enable us to introduce global best practices and ultimately make the business simpler and more efficient.”
Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive, Invest Northern Ireland, said: “The establishment of this new financial and information management centre has already created new employment opportunities and will continue to drive job creation in Northern Ireland over the next few years.
“Pearson is the largest education company in the world, and this project represents a significant investment into the Northern Ireland economy, secured with our support.”
The company has been offered nearly £2 million of support from the Department for the Economy and Invest NI to help secure this project for Northern Ireland.
Mr Hamilton added: “We are delighted to welcome Pearson to Northern Ireland.
“The addition of this global name to the list of blue chip companies operating in here is testament to the quality of our people and the value of our proposition.
“We have had great success in not only attracting new investors, but also in helping those companies grow and expand their operations in Northern Ireland further.
“I am confident Pearson will have a similar positive experience.”
Over the past couple of years, Pearson has been working to simplify the fragmentation and duplication of its back office and enterprise infrastructure.
This latest move is a further significant step in a major efficiency drive across Pearson’s technology, finance, procurement, supply chain and HR functions, the aim of which is to bring the general and administrative costs of running Pearson more in line with global best practice.
Pearson Publishing has published almost 1,000 educational titles in print and digital formats.
It has run staff training and development programmes for over 250,000 people and worked with organisations including the United Nations, the European Union, Microsoft and the University of Cambridge.