Recently, professional services firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) announced a £40m investment into a new advanced research and engineering centre in Northern Ireland. Over 750 jobs will be created for various highly skilled roles over the next five years.
The new centre is a part of PwC’s fast-growing Operate division at the company’s new Belfast headquarters in Merchant Square. Recruitment for the technology centre will begin immediately. The centre will be opening this summer and employees can look forward to participating in the development of innovative technology and data assets to provide support to customers.
In total, 771 new technological and operational jobs will be filled over the next five years of the recruitment round, including 108 software and engineering roles. Furthermore, PwC will collaborate with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University to create 38 research posts. Each of these universities will come together for developing joint research teams to deliver PwC’s research and engineering programme.
Making the investment announcement at the soon-to-be-opened centre in Merchant Square, Ian McConnell, the partner lead for PwC Operate, said: “We’re creating a team of engineers and technologists who’ll work within a bigger innovation ecosystem, including government, academia and business, to help our clients take giant leaps, rather than incremental steps.”
“It’s a huge statement of confidence from PwC UK’s Executive Board in both the Operate business and our local talent. The strength of our people has already enabled us to turn Operate into PwC’s fastest-growing division and I’m very proud that this gives us the opportunity to create hundreds more highly skilled jobs in Northern Ireland,” McConnell added.
Speaking at the announcement, Northern Ireland Economy Minister Paul Frew praised the plan’s financial backers and spoke of his hopes for a strengthened STEM workforce.
He said, “This significant investment by PwC is a vote of confidence in the talent of our local workforce and the success it has already achieved here. With almost £10m of support from Invest Northern Ireland towards the new centre, this investment will lead to the creation of almost 800 new jobs which will generate approximately £25m in additional annual salaries for our economy.”
Invest NI has offered more than £9.8m to PwC in support for the investment, which will contribute towards the 37 R&D projects in core technology areas like workflow automation, robotic process automation, AI and data analytics.
Kevin Holland, Chief Executive of Invest NI, stated: “We’ve been working with PwC since 2011 and, with our support, the local management have successfully positioned NI as a key hub for PwC UK, helping to grow its presence in Northern Ireland from 650 employees to over 2,500.” He added: “I am delighted that we have been able to secure the company’s further growth ambitions in Northern Ireland, with the Research and Engineering Centre as the latest outcome of our working relationship.”