Ministers announce plans for 200 new shared services jobs for Northern Ireland


Photography: Press Eye Photography

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Employment & Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry are pictured with Robert Kennedy, Caterpillar Northern Ireland Operations Director.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Employment & Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry have announced that Caterpillar is to create 200 new high quality shared services jobs in West Belfast.

Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. It has a presence in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Larne following its acquisition of local engineering firm FG Wilson in 1999.

The investment is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland, which has offered Caterpillar £1.275million towards the plan to create an additional 200 shared services positions in Northern Ireland. The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) has also offered training support of £440,000 under its Assured Skills programme.

Speaking at the announcement, Arlene Foster said: “This is a very positive announcement for Caterpillar which demonstrates confidence in the Northern Ireland proposition at a time of increasing competitiveness in global markets.

“Last year, Invest NI’s Alastair Hamilton and I travelled to the US and met with Caterpillar senior management to specifically discuss the company’s future plans in Northern Ireland. This investment project was discussed as part of that meeting. Since, then the team at Invest NI has worked tirelessly to secure the shared services positions for Northern Ireland and ensure that they were not lost to other potential locations in Europe.”

Dr Stephen Farry said: “This investment by Caterpillar demonstrates confidence in our local skills base and will offer important employment and training opportunities in a variety of key business areas including finance and human resources. The flexibility that my Department’s Assured Skills programme offers to companies like Caterpillar gives Northern Ireland an edge when competing with other regions. Assured Skills funding will ensure that the company has the support necessary for essential training initiatives and skills development activities.”

Robert Kennedy, Caterpillar Northern Ireland Operations Director said: “As a global company, Caterpillar has to regularly evaluate key areas of business in order to remain internationally competitive. With the support from Invest NI and the government departments as well as the availability of key, essential skills in the professional shared services area, we are pleased to announce Northern Ireland as the location of choice for this expansion of services.”