Belfast Telegraph

280 new Civil Service jobs created in Northern Ireland after £16m deal clinched

By John Mulgrew

Around 280 public sector jobs are being created in Northern Ireland to help deal with credit and child maintenance payments in Britain.

The new posts were revealed by Communities Minister Paul Givan.

His department has secured an additional contract to deliver services to claimants across the water on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Department for Communities currently employs around 1,400 staff, providing services to claimants on behalf of its Westminster counterpart.

The contract will be worth more than £16m over the next two years.

The new jobs will pay around £19,000 a year, and are mostly expected to be at administrative grade level.

The posts will be in Belfast and Armagh.

"This is great news for Northern Ireland and this additional investment is clear acknowledgement by the Department for Work and Pensions that they value the high quality services currently being provided by our staff," Mr Givan said.

"These posts will all need to be fully operational by April 2017, and I can confirm that they will be shared between sites in Belfast and Armagh.

"I am committed to building on our relationship with the Department for Work and Pensions.

"I will be soon visiting London to meet with their ministers to discuss how we can provide further support."

Some of the posts will be based at the Armagh jobs and benefits office, which the department says will be used for the delivery of "personal independence payments posts as it has the necessary ICT infrastructure and accommodation".

The department says it will be able to "redeploy staff to Armagh from other offices where there are surplus staff following changes introduced by the Welfare Reform Bill".

In April a freeze on recruitment and promotion in the Northern Ireland Civil Service was lifted more than a year after being imposed.

It came as a union representing civil servants said the loss of nearly 3,000 personnel with "thousands of years of expertise" under public service reform had placed the organisation under considerable pressure.

Meanwhile, this week accountancy firm BDO revealed it's creating 43 jobs in Belfast over the next three years, partly funded by almost £218,000 in grants from Invest NI.

Belfast Telegraph

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