Professional services firm EY has announced the creation of 1,000 new jobs in Northern Ireland over the next five years in a move that will bring the total EY headcount to 1,900 in the region.
To support this growth EY will establish a hub in the North West to attract talent from across the region.
This announcement by EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, and consulting as well as strategy and corporate transactions, is supported by Invest Northern Ireland and the Department for the Economy.
The roles will be filled by a mix of experienced candidates, recent graduates and school leavers in areas such as cyber security, data analytics, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies, risk, tax, and audit as well as business consultancy.
As part of the announcement, EY Northern Ireland is committing to work with the Department for the Economy to operate an Assured Skills Academy Programme that will deliver a strong pipeline of new talent for EY in specific areas such as cyber security and data analytics, among others. The Assured Skills Academy Programme will focus on individuals such as those seeking to return to work following a career break, those wishing to change career, or recent graduates looking for an alternative route into professional services.
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Announcing the investment at the Northern Ireland investment summit in Belfast today (Wednesday), Rob Heron, EY Northern Ireland managing partner, said: “Today is an exceptionally proud day for all of us in EY Northern Ireland as we announce a thousand new jobs in the region over the next five years and aim to more than double our headcount to 1,900 in the years ahead.
“Thanks to our partnership with the Department for the Economy and Invest Northern Ireland, we have been able to create this pipeline of jobs and skills development opportunities that we are announcing today. Whether you are a college graduate, someone looking to advance or change your career, or you are ready to re-enter the workforce following a career break, EY’s Assured Skills Academy Programme will offer you an opportunity to acquire new skills and to join a world class team here in EY Northern Ireland.
“Our firm has been experiencing increased demand across all our business areas in recent years as clients turn to us in growing numbers to help them with their most complex and strategic problems. That is why we are so focused on ensuring that we continue to have the right access to great talent in the region across a diverse range of skillsets and specialisms. Our EY core values of diversity, social equity, and inclusiveness will be at the heart of these new employment opportunities and that is something we are incredibly proud of.”
Frank O’Keeffe, EY UK & Ireland managing partner, markets and managing partner EY Ireland, explained: “In EY we are passionate about supporting our clients by investing heavily in our highly skilled and diverse workforce and that is why days like today are so special for us. EY has built an incredible business in Northern Ireland over decades, proudly providing a superb service to a broad range of clients across the island of Ireland, the United Kingdom and our global network. These 1,000 new jobs will help to strengthen Northern Ireland’s reputation as home to world-class universities and fantastic local talent and they will help to spotlight the region as an attractive hub for global business and future international investment.
“There is fierce competition for jobs and investment globally but what set Northern Ireland apart on this occasion was the quality of local talent here as well as the innovative growth mindset displayed by our Northern Ireland team and our incredible clients. The support received from Invest Northern Ireland and the Department for the Economy played an important role in making today happen and collectively we are very proud of the impact we know these 1,000 new jobs will have on the local economy.”
Hywel Ball, EY UK chair and UK and Ireland managing partner, continued: “EY is very proud to announce the creation of 1,000 new jobs in EY Northern Ireland over the next five years. Today’s jobs announcement is a reflection of our commitment to accelerate the growth of our Northern Ireland practice in a way that will bolster the regional economy. The support from Invest Northern Ireland and the Department for the Economy was an important component when it came to our decision to choose Northern Ireland as the location for this significant investment, as was the access we have here to an incredible talent pool, as well as the potential and ambition of our Northern Ireland practice.”
Mike Brennan, DfE permanent secretary, stated: “This announcement of 1,000 new jobs by EY is excellent news for the local economy and a further endorsement of Northern Ireland as a rising global player in the fintech and professional services sector. This investment by EY strongly aligns with the innovation and inclusivity objectives of the Department’s 10X Economic Vision and will provide opportunities for individuals across Northern Ireland to enter the sector.
“My Department’s Assured Skills Academies will assist in filling 351 of these jobs across a range of roles and skills areas including Data and Analytics, Cyber Security, Procurement and Commercial Contract Management and Project and Programme Management. Assured Skills Academies have a track record of equipping participants with the skills employers need to flourish and grow. Furthermore, participants on these Assured Skills Academies who complete the training are guaranteed an interview for a role with EY and will be strongly positioned for success.”
Welcoming the investment, Mel Chittock, Interim CEO of Invest NI, added: “Over many years, Invest Northern Ireland has developed a strong, strategic partnership with EY’s local management, and we are delighted that the firm has chosen Northern Ireland against other competitive locations globally for this significant investment.
“It is clearly aligned with the objectives of the Department for the Economy’s 10X Economic Vision as securing this major mobile investment will contribute to a more regionally balanced economy by establishing a regional hub outside Belfast and a clear commitment by EY to positively provide opportunities for the economically inactive. It will also further raise the standing of Northern Ireland on the global stage, positioning it as a fintech and professional services powerhouse and helping to develop the innovation capabilities on which our future economy will be based.”
Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of NI Chamber also welcomed the series of investment announcements, coinciding with the Northern Ireland investment summit.
Responding to EY Northern Ireland’s announcement she stated: “Today’s jobs announcement demonstrates the confidence that EY’s global operation has in Northern Ireland as a place to grow and invest.
“It is especially encouraging to see new roles created in areas such as cyber-security, AI and data-analytics, specialisms which we know Northern Ireland has growing strengths in. The region continues to invest in its world class-digital and communications infrastructure, which we hope will support the further creation of jobs like this.
“Northern Ireland is adept at providing investors like EY with a fantastic pipeline of talent and in EY’s case, this will be accelerated through the establishment of its Assured Skills Programme. Employer-led solutions like this, which provide people with the opportunity to up-skill and re-skill are crucial if we’re to continue to grow our skills base and support inward investment.
“The creation of these jobs is particularly good news for the North-West, delivering highly skilled career opportunities for talented, ambitious people from the area.”