Belfast Telegraph

Invest NI jobs fund allows firms to hire more than 40 new employees

By Clare Weir

More than 40 new jobs will be created in the North West through an Invest NI initiative.

Axa Insurance, Fresh Food Kitchen and One Stop Data, all based in Londonderry, will benefit from new staff thanks to the Jobs Fund, previously known as the Short Term Employment Scheme, which was set up earlier this year with a budget of £19m and the aim of creating 4,000 jobs by 2014.

One Stop Data, a Surrey-based firm that specialises in providing postal, telephone and email marketing lists, is creating 24 new jobs. Additionally, 13 new customer service agent posts are to be created at Axa Insurance, which will bring total employment at the Northland Road operation to 163.

Home-grown company Fresh Food Kitchen, which produces a range of fresh food products, also plans to employ an additional five people to work on the development of a new range of fresh soups.

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton made the announcement of the new jobs during a visit to the region this week.

He said that there are still opportunities out there for businesses prepared to diversify and target new markets.

"Applying for support under the Jobs Fund is designed to be much easier and faster so that businesses can receive financial support for employment projects when they need it," he said.

"I would encourage companies, large or small, that would benefit from the Jobs Fund to contact Invest NI immediately so we can help them to manage their way through the current challenges."

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