The ongoing success of its Belfast operations has prompted business advisors EY to annouce another 486 jobs in a major expansion.
The investment by the firm, formerly known as Ernst & Young, will take place over the next four years and will eventually bring close to £20 million a year to the province in salaries.
The announcement was made yesterday in the presence of First Minister Peter Robinson and Enterprise and Employment and Learning Ministers Arlene Foster and Stephen Farry.
The project will see the creation of a new business unit offering advisory and assurance services to clients outside of Northern Ireland.
The mobile and static workforce will provide assurance and advisory services to EY’s UKI domestic and international client base.
“We are delighted to bring this investment to Belfast which will further enhance our current service offering to clients,” said EY Ireland managing partner Mike McKerr.
“As a global company with a presence in more than 150 countries, we continually evaluate the best locations for expansion to ensure maximum productivity and growth.
“We have been working closely with Invest Northern Ireland for some time on this project and their support and advice has been instrumental in EYs decision to locate this project in Belfast.”
Announcing the investmentMr Robinson said it was extremely positive news for the city.
“Having met with Steve Varley, Chairman and Managing Partner EY UK&I and Mike McKerr last year, I was able to reaffirm our ongoing support for EY’s commitment to Northern Ireland and I am pleased that this project has now come to fruition.
“Alternative global locations were considered by the company so securing these high quality jobs has been a real coup. This announcement sends an unambiguous message to international investors to have confidence in Northern Ireland as a competitive location from which to grow their business.”
Northern Ireland, said EY, presented a compelling proposition in terms of a strong existing skills base and high quality graduate pool, aligned to cost-competitiveness and financial support.
Invest NI has offered £3.2 million to support the jobs announcement, which played a crucial role in locating these jobs in Belfast.
EY already employs more than 1,450 people across its five offices in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland and this announcement will significantly add to the 145 people already located in its Belfast office.
“Today’s announcement will provide excellent employment opportunities across a range of levels in a wide variety of roles including, advisory and assurance specialists, comprising of a mobile and static workforce,” said Mrs Foster.
“In addition, EY will also be seeking people in human resources, finance and administration within its core business services.
“This investment could have gone to a number of other locations and the decision to choose Belfast is based on the availability of a skilled, loyal and committed workforce and our robust infrastructure which provides reliable, high speed and cost effective connectivity.”
Commenting on the announcement Dr Farry said: “I am pleased to be supporting this substantial job announcement from EY.
“In this very competitive market place, this investment is testament to the emphasis that companies now place on locating in areas where they can access a highly skilled labour force to support their business needs.”
Dr Farrry said he was committed to supporting and working with inward investors and local companies to help them meet their business objectives.
“Assured Skills funding from my Department will ensure that the organisation has the support necessary for training initiatives to develop the skills required for these new roles.”