Tech firm hires 76 with more to come
The boss of a company which has just doubled its workforce in Belfast said he hopes there could be many more jobs in the pipeline.
Carmi Bogot, president of Latens Systems, was speaking after it was announced that the firm –part of international technology company Pace Plc – is hiring 76 new members of staff.
Invest NI has also offered additional support of £282,500, including part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund, towards a £1m research project into the development of a new product.
The new jobs will generate over £2.7m annually in additional salaries and will vary from graduate roles to experienced software professionals.
The company develops advanced security software for set-top boxes, PCs, tablets, smartphones, connected TVs and other communications devices.
Mr Bogot said that that while premises in other parts of the world were being downsized, Northern Ireland operations will continue to expand. "We closed down an office in India, and we are hiring more people over here – that's because of the quality of the people, the universities and the engineering," he said.
"We don't sell here, we don't have any customers here, we just buy the people – the work ethic, design, the build, the expertise, the cost of doing business and there is more to come. Our industry is a growth market. India is going digital and Indonesia is about to go digital – that's 250 million people.
"Europe is digitised but there are plenty of emerging markets that are only now turning on.
"We could definitely double or triple the amount of people working here over time."
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said that while local unemployment figures may paint a gloomy picture, innovative Northern Ireland companies are still doing well.
She said: "We need to think about long-term goals through research and development and through export.
"We have already heard significant announcements in recent weeks from companies like Wrightbus and Glen Dimplex, world-leading companies who recognise that investing in research and development leads to new products, to exports and to jobs and these are the companies that are not only surviving, they are thriving and often are world leaders in their fields.
"The 76 new jobs will be very high-quality, generating over £2.7m annually in additional salaries, and will result in up to 120 people being employed by Latens at Pace Plc's Belfast site.
"The Latens name is globally renowned as a leader in the development of content security solutions, a fact which was recognised in 2010 when the company received a Queen's Award for Enterprise for outstanding success in international markets.
"Today's announcement will cement Latens Systems' position in key markets, ensure the firm can meet increasing demand from key clients and... further enhance its highly innovative product portfolio," Ms Foster added.