Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

IT leaders double workforce to 945 with £29m expansion

First Minister Peter Robinson, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Employment Minister Dr Stephen Farry with Ed Brown (right), managing director of Capita Managed IT Solutions and Gary Coates, service desk analyst, at their offices yesterday

Just over a year after acquiring a Northern Ireland firm, Capita Managed IT Solutions has announced it is to double the workforce in its Newtownabbey facility to almost 1,000 in a £29.9m expansion.

Capita acquired Northgate Managed Services early in 2013 for around £66m.

The company is a key supplier of IT and cloud-based systems, providing managed services for 1,200 schools – including every school in Northern Ireland – and over 60 health organisations and is also the largest IT provider for utilities in Northern Ireland.

Capita's major clients include the BBC, the NHS, the NSPCC and Balfour Beatty.

The announcement of 400 new jobs will bring the total employed to 945, delivering an additional £13.75m a year in salaries into the economy, averaging at around £33,000 per annum.

All new staff are expected to be in place by the end of 2016 and are being aimed at school-leavers, those returning to work and graduates.

The investment has been supported with £4m from Invest Northern Ireland, which in the last six weeks has announced that its support will help create more than 2,600 new jobs across Newtownabbey, Londonderry, Portadown, Antrim, Carrickfergus, Belfast and Tyrone.

First Minister Peter Robinson said that he hoped that the promise of well-paid jobs in a range of top companies could "bring people home" to work in Northern Ireland.

"We want to bring people home to take these great jobs being made available," he said.

"People used to leave our shores so often because high paid jobs like this just weren't available, now they are, and we want people to come back and help grow the economy further."

The Department for Employment and Learning also offered £1.2m of training support.

Ed Brown, managing director of Capita Managed IT Solutions, said that the business was seeking to grow its customer base, expand its service range and increase its service delivery capabilities in Northern Ireland.

"We essentially help customers to get the most out of their IT systems in terms of efficiency and productivity.

"We can help by setting up systems or software or indeed running the entire IT system for a client.

"We have an expanding customer base across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and our base here in Northern Ireland is key, we have access to a great pool of talent."

He added: "We'll be looking for staff including service desk analysts, desktop and infrastructure engineers, and will be appointing more team leaders and management."

£13.75m

The amount in salaries that the firm will give to the economy each year

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