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Invest NI 'on target' to hit revised government job targets: Work pipeline slows due to EU rule changes

By John Mulgrew

Published 08/12/2015

Invest NI's headquarters in Belfast
Invest NI's headquarters in Belfast

Invest NI says it is on target to hit revised government targets for new jobs, according to the latest half year figures.

It says it will have 'promoted' more than 42,000 jobs by the end of April, beating a target of 41,000 outlined in the Programme for Government.

That would be around 6,000 for this financial year.

Those are jobs which have been announced, but not yet created.

It does not break down the number of jobs created during its half year results.

It's invested more than £2.8bn since 2011.

But the number of jobs promoted has slowed in the six months to September.

That was partly down to a large pipeline of work last year, amid changes and tightening of EU rules on grants, which saw companies pushing through projects ahead of its introduction in June 2014.

Chief executive Alastair Hamilton is addressing the enterprise committee this morning.

Mr Hamilton said: “We have helped promote over 39,000 new jobs across Northern Ireland since 2011, this is against an original target of 25,000.

“Our revised target is now 41,000, and with just six months to go we are on track to exceed this too.

“These new jobs have been in a range of sectors including food, manufacturing, legal, business and financial services, and across every council area. Our support for jobs has helped generate nearly £3bn of investment in the local economy.”

According to Invest NI, the agency has promoted some 28% of new jobs across small and medium-sized businesses, against a target of 20%.

Around four fifths of total jobs, financial offers and planned investment were based outside of Belfast.

Some of the major jobs outlined for Northern Ireland this year includes 800 call centre roles at Teleperformance in Enniskillen and 250 with Manchester firm Intelling.

Invest has said the average cost per job promoted is now £5,300.

One of the areas which has seen improvement is in exports – something Invest NI has fallen down on over the last few years.

It's increased total exports to 4% for the period October 2014 to September 2015.

But that's still well behind the initial target of 20%.

Exports have increased in a number of major markets, including a 5% rise in the US, 12% boost in Germany, and 85% rise in Australia.

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