High-flying recruitment firm Cpl opens Derry office
A global recruitment firm that counts Google and Facebook among its clients has added a Londonderry office to its Northern Ireland operations in the hope of helping to plug a "significant gap" in the north-west.
Cpl currently employs 22 people across its Belfast and Newry offices, and has a total of 36 sites across nine countries.
It is set to add a further eight staff over the next few months, according to its chief executive here, Aine Brolly.
"We have 22 people now, and my target will be a further eight people across the offices," Ms Brolly said.
"Those will mostly be split between Belfast and Derry. We are looking at potentially acquiring local firms, too.
"Obviously, Derry is the second city. Newry has been very successful and would work a lot in the border counties.
"But one of the first things I noticed on the island is that there's a significant gap in the north west. What we are going to see with Invest NI is Belfast being saturated, with companies looking at Derry."
A number of tech firms have opened up in the Maiden City over the past months. They include California-based Metaverse Mod Squad, which announced it was creating 100 jobs in June.
"We weren't in a position to bid for that work as we had no feet on the ground - and that's been one of the drivers," Ms Brolly said. "I am a Derry woman and I want to do something for my home city."
She added there was an increasing number of workers commuting to Belfast who were keen to find jobs closer to home.
"If you look at the number of people travelling in to Belfast each day, there are about 700,000," Ms Brolly told this newspaper.
"But when people get to a stage in their career - with a family - that commute is killing them."
She claimed it was time for Invest NI to consider which types of businesses may be attracted to Londonderry, and added that the digital media and creative sectors would be likely candidates.
"I think the economy isn't as buoyant as it is in Belfast, but it has potential," Ms Brolly said.
In the jobs market in general, the Cpl chief executive told how there had been huge growth in a number of sectors, including in construction work in Great Britain.
"The only area we are not seeing growth is banking - right across the board," she added.
"They have been the slowest to recover - we are not seeing any real movement there."