Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry have welcomed the announcement that US engineering firm Caterpillar is investing over £7 million in a major manufacturing project in Northern Ireland.
Part of the investment will focus on skills development to facilitate the 100 high quality manufacturing positions required to run the assembly of wheeled material handling machines for Caterpillar’s Industrial and Waste Group.
The project is being supported by an offer of over £1 million from Invest Northern Ireland. The Department for Employment and Learning has also offered £220,000 of support through its Assured Skills Programme.
Arlene Foster said: “Caterpillar is globally renowned for engineering and manufacturing excellence so I am delighted with today’s news which is a boost for the wider manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland.
“I travelled to Chicago in September 2012 to meet Caterpillar management and discuss its Northern Ireland operations. At that time, this project was at an early stage and the company was looking at other sites outside Northern Ireland. I assured Caterpillar of my continued support for its Northern Ireland operations and encouraged them to engage with Invest NI, particularly as skills development and wider support would play such a vital role in the decision making process.
“I welcome the announcement today that Caterpillar has indeed chosen Northern Ireland as the base for this major manufacturing project.”
Dr Stephen Farry said: “As the Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Services Working Group, I welcome this diversification by Caterpillar in Northern Ireland and the fact that part of the investment will be targeted at further enhancing core skills for the sector. Assured Skills funding from my Department will ensure that the organisation has the support necessary for training initiatives to develop the specific skills required.”