Ecommerce support platform eDesk is to create 150 jobs in the next 18 months as it plans further expansion in the US and Europe, the Middle East and Africa, more than doubling its current headcount.

From left: Ross Keating, vice president of sales for eDesk; Courtney Graham, vice president of customer success; Mats Forsgren, vice president of operations; Dermot O’Connor, chief executive.

Among the roles on offer are positions in product, sales, marketing, customer success and customer support.

The jobs will be based at eDesk’s headquarters in Dublin, its Derry office and its premises in Skibbereen, Co Cork. Some of the roles will also be based on the east coast of the US, where the company is planning to hoping to have 20 employees in the coming 18 months. EDesk currently operates a hybrid work environment, with remote working and office space available for its employees.

Founded by entrepreneur Ray Nolan as xSellco in 2012, the company provides ecommerce support solutions to customers looking to sell across multiple channels and consolidating all customer interactions into a single box. It rebranded to eDesk in 2021. Among its customers are Superdry, Pitstop Auto and Right Deals UK, with partners that include Amazon, eBay, and Shopify.

“Ecommerce is so hot right now and eDesk as a product has seen significant growth in recent years so we are delighted today to announce the growth of our team over the coming months with these new open roles,” said chief executive Dermot O’Connor.

“eDesk was created to ease the complexity of customer service so that companies can focus on growth. These new hires will continue to support our growth by creating new updates and top-tier products to ensure that our customers truly support each individual customer across all of their sales channels, allowing them to more effectively grow their own businesses.”

Boxever cofounder Mr O’Connor was recently appointed chief executive of eDesk, joining a number of senior hires that include vice-president of sales Ross Keating; Courtney Graham as vice-president of customer success; and Mats Forsgren as vice-president of operations.

“I’m so proud of our team for getting eDesk to the point where we can double our headcount, creating 150 new jobs,” said Mr Nolan. “Dermot brings with him to eDesk over two decades of experience in founding, building, and scaling successful SaaS businesses out of Ireland. I have every faith that he and the eDesk team will take the company to the next level of growth.”

The news of the expansion was welcomed by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. “EDesk’s creation of 150 new jobs over the next 18 months in Dublin, Derry, Skibbereen and the US is a testament to the company’s ongoing commitment to Ireland,” he said. “The company’s incredible growth shows how Irish eCommerce and Business to Business firms like Flipdish, Intercom, and Wayflyer continue to take on global markets and grow from here in Ireland.”

Source: Irish Times

  • £50 million data innovation hub at Ulster University to support UK manufacturers to accelerate development of digital technologies
  • Dedicated grant funding will be provided to manufacturers to implement expert recommendations from data scientists
  • Adoption of digital technologies such as Industrial Internet of Things and artificial intelligence is key to driving manufacturing productivity, sustainability and competitiveness

UK manufacturers are to have their productivity and competitiveness boosted thanks to a new data innovation hub and testbed led by Ulster University, Industry Minister Lee Rowley announced today (Wednesday 18 May).

The £50 million Smart Manufacturing Data Hub (SMDH) will support small and medium size manufacturers to capture and better utilise their data, helping them increase productivity, growth and sustainability. Businesses in sectors spanning from food and drink, aerospace and many more will be supported to develop, test and adopt the latest data-driven technologies.

Nearly 10,000 manufacturers are expected to benefit from the hub and 13,000 jobs will be supported, helping to boost economic growth and level-up regions across the UK. The hub will be supported by £20 million from the UK government backed Made Smarter Innovation Programme, along with £30 million of business co-investment.

UK Industry Minister Lee Rowley said: 

“As we embrace the digital manufacturing revolution, it is vital manufacturers across the UK can capitalise on the productivity and growth gains that come with the adopting the latest data-led digital technologies.

“The Smart Manufacturing Data Hub, backed by £20 million of government funds, will support companies to implement cutting edge production and process techniques themselves, helping bring the next generation of products to our shelves in a more efficient and sustainable way.”

The hub will host an online Manufacturing Data Exchange Platform that will enable companies to submit their manufacturing data and receive recommendations in return, helping to improve their products and processes. A dedicated £5 million fund will then provide companies with grants to make further improvements in areas of critical importance to their business.

Virtual manufacturing testbeds will allow companies to create a “digital twin” to simulate the implementation of digital technology on their own processes, harnessing data from other manufacturers that have already adopted the technologies to encourage investment.

The SMDH will also provide manufacturers with expert analysis of their emissions and energy data from support staff specialising in data analytics and engineering, which will help them target reductions in waste, energy use and ultimately improve sustainability.

Pro Vice Chancellor Research at Ulster University Professor Liam Maguire said:

“Made Smarter provides the opportunity for innovative collaboration that will be transformative in driving industry competitiveness. At Ulster University, we have a strong track record of collaboration; using our research and technology to act as a catalyst for change, innovation and positive economic, social and environmental impact. Made Smarter is another important project in the broader realisation of the Derry and Strabane City Deal agenda, further enhancing the attractiveness of investment and driving economic growth”

The SMDH will first be accessible by small and medium size manufacturers in Northern Ireland in the coming months, before going live for companies across the rest of the UK. The programme will be supported across the rest of the UK by 12 delivery partners, including the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, Industry Wales and Scottish Engineering.

The funding comes as part of the £300 million Made Smarter Innovation Challenge, a collaboration between UK Government and industry designed to support the development and increased use of new and existing industrial digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

The challenge aims to deliver a resilient, flexible, more productive and environmentally sustainable UK manufacturing sector. It will also develop new technologies that can be exploited commercially across the manufacturing industry, worldwide.

Today’s announcement builds on the government’s Help to Grow schemes, which are helping smaller businesses to boost their productivity with training and software that is proven to get results.

The impressive ecosystem of multinationals based in the North West of Ireland provides the people of the region with strong employment and development opportunities across diverse sectors.

One of the North West City Region’s largest employers, Allstate NI was established in 1998, to provide high quality software and business solutions to support its US-based parent company, the Allstate Corporation. Protecting people from life’s uncertainties with more than 113 million proprietary policies, Allstate offers a broad array of protection products through multiple brands and diverse distribution channels, including auto, home and life assurance.

Employing 900 people across the North West in offices in Derry and Strabane, the region is of major strategic importance to the company.  Their Derry office celebrating 20 years in business last year.

Allstate Strabane Office

Based in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, Talent Acquisition Manager, Alan Fletcher explains Allstate’s reasons to locate in the region with “The initial set-up about getting access to a deep talent pool available in the wider city region. The North West has talented individuals who make a great contribution to the success of all our businesses.”

Alan Fletcher: Talent Acquisition Manager

Alan is one of many cross-border workers in the Fortune 100 firm. He along with fellow colleague Maria McColgan, are both natives of Donegal and are part of a growing list of digital professionals who speak glowingly about Allstate and the North West City Region.

Maria speaks about the Allstate experience; “the social aspect of the company was beyond anything I had ever experienced, there is so much inclusiveness here and I felt this also supported my development professionally.”

Maria McColgan: Product Manager (Allstate)

Alongside her role as Product Delivery Manager, Maria is also as an ‘Inclusion Champion’, ensuring training is available for all employees and that everyone is happy coming to work. As well as this, Maria is an advocate for Women in Technology at Allstate, “I feel that as a female in IT that there is so much opportunity for which we need to make the next generation aware of.”

Looking to the future, Allstate aims to keep on top of technological advancements by looking for new talent and skillsets in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation and Cyber Security.

The company have embarked on an ambitious investment in re-skilling existing employees in these areas and identifying the next generation of talent, through their 3-year graduate development programme.

At least 100 graduate positions are expected to be filled this year with successful candidates being put through a journey of continuous professional development at Allstate, exploring roles in the skillsets identified such as AI, machine learning, production support and product testing. “The talent, skills and connectivity found in the North West is a major draw for Allstate to grow our talent centres,” comments Alan.

The company offers a flexible hybrid working policy, allowing employees to design a work schedule appropriate for their needs, while also helping to achieve the perfect work-life balance.

When touching on their experiences of living and working in the North West, the benefits were clear. Living in Carndonagh and working in the Calayst building in Derry, Maria comments that her commute through Donegal to work is “way more appealing that a 30-minute sit in traffic.”

“I suppose the major bonus is working in a close-knit community that the North West region provides”, Maria concludes.

“For me it is being able to have a global career in a unique location. I have been able to work in both Donegal and Derry for some of the biggest companies in the world” says Alan.

He also delves deeper into the ecosystem of collaboration between multinationals and high-quality educational institutions as Talent Acquisition manager: “I have built academic partnerships with the University of Ulster, North West Regional College and Atlantic Technological University to name a few and it has been great to see exciting job opportunities being created in the North West region.”

“The fact the region has been voted the best place to work in Northern Ireland shows we are heading in the right direction.”

With the MIT Innovators Under 35 Event set to take place in the gTeic @ GaothDobhair this week, showcasing the vast array of talent of young people across Europe and the North West City Region, it’s assuring to see that investment in the talent of tomorrow is fundamental to Allstate’s operations within the region. 

FinTrU, a technologically enabled regulatory solutions company, has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade) in 2022.

The company won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for ‘Outstanding Continuous Growth’ in overseas sales over the last six years.

Headquartered in Belfast, FinTrU has rapidly expanded in recent years with additional global offices in Derry/Londonderry, New York, London, Dublin and Maastricht.

FinTrU Founder & CEO, Darragh McCarthy, said “It is an absolute honour for FinTrU to be recognised in this way. The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is an incredibly prestigious accolade with a vast array of highly respected winners over the years. We are delighted at FinTrU to see the hard work of our employees rewarded with this fantastic achievement.”

Employing over 1,000 people, FinTrU was founded in 2013 and provides technologically enabled Regulatory Solutions for Investment Banks – specialising in the areas of KYC, Compliance, Legal, Risk & Controls and Operations.

Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.

Source: Written from press release.

There was delight this week after Derry was named as a regional winner in a competition celebrating locations which have the most to offer for entrepreneurs and businesses. The UK’s Top Towns for Business competition was being run by Enterprise Nation in partnership with Dell UKand Intel UK and aimed to shine a spotlight on the UK’s towns and cities that successfully nurture entrepreneurial spirit in order to make a lasting impact on local communities and the economy.

Locations across the UK were judged on a variety of different business-related sectors including connectivity, dedicated space, retail space, networks and leadership, and after Derry/Londonderry made it onto the shortlist for the NI award, a public vote saw the city come out on top.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been named as a regional winner for the UK Top Towns for Business 2022 competition.“The fact that we have been shortlisted and now selected as the top location after a public vote once again highlights why our city and region is such a prime and attractive location for living, working and investment. The area offers so much to entrepreneurs and businesses, from connectivity to workshops to networking and everything in between.

“We nurture and support entrepreneurial ambition and would welcome any individuals or organisations seeking to work and invest in this region. Thanks to everyone who voted to support our city in this competition.”​

PwC is opening a space at Ulster University’s Magee Campus in Derry/Londonderry as part of its investment in innovation in Northern Ireland.

The space will house research and development for its £40m Advanced Research and Engineering Centre (ARC), which launched last year in conjunction with Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast, with support from Invest Northern Ireland. 

Through its alliances with government and academia, ARC’s innovation ecosystem is looking to build solutions to complex business problems into the next decade and beyond. This latest collaboration will see Ulster University students and researchers, at the Jordanstown and Magee campuses, work alongside Operate staff.

The new space will be used primarily as a base for ARC staff based in the North West of the country as PwC Operate ramps up recruitment from beyond its Belfast base. PwC Operate will start with four people at Ulster University’s Magee campus, but is looking to establish a larger team as ARC builds out its capabilities. 

Ian McConnell, PwC Operate Lead Partner, commented: “We’re delighted to be establishing a presence in the northwest. ARC’s vision includes university postgraduates working on research projects that feed into the software engineering function of ARC, as we develop solutions to our clients’ problems. ARC will continue to be based in our Merchant Square HQ in Belfast, but we’re keen to recruit from as wide a talent pool as possible. To be able to offer opportunities to people across the country is something very close to my heart and I believe fundamental to the success of this initiative.”

Jim Harkin, Head of the School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems from Ulster University also added: “It is positive for the Derry and Strabane City and District that PwC’s Operate will open an office at Ulster University’s Magee campus. The new office located on the Magee campus reflects the growing interest in doing business in Derry/Londonderry because of the easy access to talented people and innovative research from the Intelligent Systems Research Centre. As we develop research centres for robotics, AI and personalised medicine in the years to come as part of the Derry & Strabane City Deal, we will see more and more companies growing their presence in the North West and creating high-tech jobs.” 

Centred around an epic scale model of the solar system designed by the artist Oliver Jeffers with support from leading astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt, Our Place in Space combines a three-dimensional sculpture trail, interactive AR app and exciting learning and events programmes.

Coming in 2022, the sculpture trail will stretch over 10 kilometres and will travel from a riverside location in Derry~Londonderry (April / May) to Divis and Black Mountain in Belfast (June / July), before heading to Cambridge (August) and returning to Northern Ireland at the Transport Museum and North Down Coastal Path (September / October).

Artist Oliver Jeffers said: “For centuries, we’ve defined ourselves by who we are and who we’re not. Which side we choose, on what ground we stand, who and what we fight for. A human story, that lives merely in human minds. But with distance comes perspective… Our Place in Space is a playful experiment that asks: What is the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’? What happens to your perspective on everything when you look back at Earth from space?”

The team behind Our Place in Space is led by Nerve Centre and includes artists Oliver Jeffers and Die Hexen, Professor Stephen Smartt from the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, as well as National Museums NI, NI Science Festival, Big Motive, Taunt, Microsoft, Jeffers & Sons, University of Cambridge, Dumbworld, Live Music Now, Little Inventors, and Urban Scale Interventions.

Location partners include Derry City & Strabane District Council, National Trust, Cambridge City Council and Ards & North Down Borough Council.

David Lewis, Executive Producer at the Nerve Centre, said: “Our Place in Space is an exciting collaboration between some of our finests minds in science, technology and the arts.”

‘From creating a star to writing a symphony for the universe, inventing a new form of transport, building a Minecraft planet or connecting with space watchers in Vietnam or Iraq, Our Place in Space invites participants to look at our solar system in a different way – exploring what it means to live on Earth in 2022, and how we might better share and protect our planet in future.’

Our Place in Space is Northern Ireland’s project for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, commissioned by Belfast City Council.

Some of Derry and Strabane’s finest new entrepreneurs were unveiled today as the winners of the RE:IMAGINE new Pop Up Shop initiative, offering a platform to showcase the very best new products on the market.The six successful candidates battled it out for places in a prime retail space in Foyleside, Derry and the Pagoda Strabane, following a Dragon’s Den style pitching event to sell their ideas to a panel of expert judges.RE:IMAGINE is organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, and delivered by The Fashion & Textile Design Centre (FTDC) in Derry and BID in Strabane.The initiative is part of the new Start Up Accelerator Programme being rolled out by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Enterprise NW and Strabane Enterprise Agency, with £240,000 secured to assist individuals who have participated in the Go For It Programme, to take their business ideas further and develop their business skills. The programme is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.The brands which will be showcasing their latest products are Coalesce Wearable Art; Koto Candles; VS – Mend and Make Do, Oh Sew Design Co.; Scottie Paws; Connie Ann. Each enterprise will be able to show their products in a busy trading space providing a launch pad for up and coming start-ups.

the entrepreneurs were congratulated by the Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke, who met up with them to find out more about their exciting new brands. Mayor Warke said the scheme presented a fantastic opportunity to profile new talent keen to get established in the local marketplace. “I was so impressed by some of the products and designs which I’ve seen today,” he declared. “The Pop Up Shop space will really help to connect these top new entrepreneurs with new audiences, and raise the profile of their brand. “We have a fantastic local business community but every successful economy relies on fresh new talent to stay on top of new trends. The winners here today all demonstrate the creativity and innovation that will keep our economy driving forwards. I want to congratulate them all, and wish them every success on their business journey. I look forward to seeing them all become regular fixtures on our high street for many years to come.”The pop up shops will run until June, with five spots in Derry and one in Strabane. The entrepreneurs will also avail of a comprehensive package of wider support including bespoke mentoring, promotional marketing campaigns and technical assistance.  Council’s Head of Business, Kevin O’Connor said: “I am delighted to see six exciting new companies take the next step with the support of the Start Up Acceleration Programme and the Pop Up Shop Scheme. The local economy thankfully is beginning to turn a corner and as we look ahead to more positive times, it’s exciting to see new talent enter the market. I look forward to working with all the successful companies, and to watching their brands grow and develop over the coming months.”Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager at the Inner City Trust’s Fashion & Textile Design Centre, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for up and coming entrepreneurs just setting out on their business journey. The costs associated with any new business can be prohibitive, so this wraparound package of support will make a major difference to all the successful candidates.  “I’m delighted at the standard of the entries, there are some extremely impressive new local brands which will add to the retail offering at both locations. I’m looking forward to working with them all and to have this opportunity to develop and profile such an exciting array of new talent.”

Meet the Winners

Elaine Duffy, Vintage Star – Mend & Make Do

Elaine Duffy lives and breathes vintage fashion.

For decades, she’s been hunting down the best preloved pieces to recreate classic looks from the 1930s, 40s and 50s – and now you can get some vintage va-va-voom too!

Vintage Star – Mend & Make Do stocks original vintage items and handmade, retro-inspired clothing and jewellery.

Whether you’re after a beautiful 1950s item, some rockabilly daywear, or a fabulous pinny to sprinkle some chic into your cooking, you’ll find it – and so much more – when you visit Elaine and her fellow start-ups at the RE:IMAGINE Pop Up, Foyleside Shopping Centre.

www.instagram.com/vintagestar304050s

Bridgene Graham and Niall Lynch, Coalesce Wearable Art

Meet Bridgene and Niall. A match made in fashion heaven.

During lockdown, designer Bridgene and her partner, tattoo artist Niall, had to close the doors of both their businesses.

Niall began drawing up some Japanese-inspired artworks, and Bridgene decided to print them onto streetwear and luxurious silk kimonos.

And so, Coalesce – meaning to grow together and unite as one – was born.

See their beautiful wearable art – and discover more brand new local designers – at the RE:IMAGINE Pop Up, Foyleside Shopping Centre.

www.instagram.com/coalesce_wearable_art

Catriona Hutton, KOTO Candles

Catriona Hutton is a self-confessed candle addict, who has always loved lighting one at home after a long day.

But here comes the science bit: “I soon realised that they contained things like paraffin wax, which is a by-product of petroleum oil, and other toxic chemicals,” says Catriona.

“I decided to create something that I would be happy to have in my home, and so KOTO Candles was born.”

KOTO’s handmade candles, diffusers and wax melts use planet-friendly raw materials, with aromas such as soothing lavender, and zingy lemongrass.

See – and smell! – them for yourself at the RE:IMAGINE Pop Up, Foyleside Shopping Centre.

https://www.instagram.com/kotocandles

Laura Miller, Oh Sew Design Co

Banish all memories of those scratchy wool jumpers your granny used to make for you. These days, crocheting, knitwork and embroidery are the epitome of cool.

After watching her grandmother and mum knit as a child, and with a little help from YouTube, Laura Miller has mastered these traditional skills to create Oh Sew Design Co.

Think pretty wall hangings, personalised embroidery, and crocheted tote bags.

Laura’s delighted to stock her products alongside other local start-ups in the RE:IMAGINE Pop Up in Derry’s Foyleside.

“Selling online is great, but you don’t have the same community. And for customers, it’s so nice to experience a handmade product in real life,” she says.

“Every stitch is different from the rest. It’s a unique product every time.”

www.instagram.com/oh_sew_designco

Shannon McCafferty, Connie Ann

“I want my designs to be passed down the generations; timeless, beautiful pieces that never go out of fashion.”

Meet Shannon McCafferty, founder of Connie Ann.

A love of fashion runs in the family for the Derry designer, with great grandparents who worked in  the shirt factory, and a style-conscious mother who’d save her lunch money to buy clothes.

After studying fashion design in Liverpool, Shannon returned home and began creating Connie Ann clothing and accessories, inspired by her love of 1970s fashion and Indian fabrics.

So take a trip back in time, transport yourself to India, and see the amazing range for yourself at the RE:IMAGINE pop up In Foyleside Shopping Centre.

Jenna Mitchell, Scottie Paws, Strabane Pagoda

Do you have a four-legged fashionista?

Thanks to Scottie Paws, you can kit out your pet in the coolest of clobber – such as leopard print bandanas, tartan bow ties, and cupcake-emblazoned leads in a variety of sizes.

Founder Jenna Mitchell, who also runs a horse-riding stables and equine fashion brand, has her very own brand ambassador and model: her Jack Russell, Chase, who turns heads in the park with his bright, bold accessories.

Visit her RE:IMAGINE standalone pop up shop in Strabane’s Pagoda, and turn every dog walk into a fashion catwalk. www.instagram.com/scottiepawspets

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, this week met with the UK Ambassador for Sweden, HE Mikaela Kumlin Granit during a special visit to the city.The meeting, which was arranged in partnership with the NI Executive Office, was part of a wider visit by the Ambassador to the region.During her visit to the city she met with the Mayor and senior Council representatives to get an overview of the exciting City Deal plans before meeting with the wider City Deal partners and business leaders to discuss a range of issues including City Deal, international students, business and trading issues and the NI protocol.Speaking following the meeting, Mayor Warke said it was a huge honour to welcome the Ambassador for Sweden to the city and give her an insight to some of the exciting plans being developed for the city and district.He said: “It was a huge honour to welcome the Ambassador to the Guildhall so she could hear at first hand the excellent work we are doing to invest and promote our region and also to give her an insight into some of the challenges we face. 

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, with Swedish Ambassador Mikaela Kumlin Granit at a reception in the Guildhall. Photography Lorcan Doherty

She was very interested in hearing about our City Deal investment in research and innovation and how it will really drive and transform our regional economy. The visit was an excellent opportunity for us to promote the work we are doing in termsThis is the second visit by the Swedish Embassy Team to the Derry City and Strabane City Region, where they have met with city stakeholders to learn more about the city region deal and the challenges and opportunities regarding BREXIT and the NI Protocol. The Mayor previously met with Mr. Magnus Stuxberg (Deputy Head of Mission Political and European Affairs) and Mrs Åsa Theander from the Swedish Embassy Team in June 2021. 

An innovative new approach to promoting careers in the tech industry launched at a special school-focused event on March 10th as part of Enterprise Week 2022.

TECH CHAMPIONS is an exciting tech-themed careers comic aimed at young people, showcasing six local tech professionals and entrepreneurs and detailing the pathways they followed to develop their tech-related careers or businesses. It’s a collaborative project by Startacus and Revolve Comics, delivered in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alchemy Technology Services, and North West Regional College.

The TECH CHAMPIONS event will brought the tech professionals illustrated in the comic to life in a live streamed and in-person event during Enterprise Week.

At TECH CHAMPIONS local tech professionals and entrepreneurs chatted about their own varied backgrounds and journeys in the tech sector, with the aim of highlighting the diverse range of tech careers and opportunities which exist locally. Speaking at the event, Alastair Cameron, Startacus co-founder, said: “We believe that this innovative approach to championing tech roles and careers will help signpost local students to fantastic opportunities in these exciting and fast growing sectors. We are proud of the collaborative approach this initiative has taken, working with partners who are fully committed to helping inspire our young people.”

The event served as a launch for Derry City and Strabane District Council’s bespoke website www.homeground.me, the North West’s first interactive digital map profiling the Digital, Creative and Fintech sectors in Derry, Strabane and Letterkenny.]]

Head of Business with Council, Kevin O’Connor, said the site will be an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a career in the tech industry. “The Homeground Site will provide a platform for industry professionals to share information and experience with the next generation of tech talent. Cross-border collaboration is an essential element in our campaign to promote the North West region as an exciting and attractive location for school leavers, offering both professional opportunity and fantastic lifestyle benefits. This new resource will help young people pinpoint opportunities and connect them with the companies best suited to their skills and ambitions.”

Homeground has resulted from the work of Council’s Digital, Creative and Financial Technologies Subgroup. Columb Duffy, Senior Leader at Allstate NI in the North West, is the Chair of the Subgroup. He advises anyone at home or working away who is interested in a career in Digital, Creative or Fintech, or wants to see what the North West has to offer, to click onto Homeground to view the fastest growing sectors in the North West and the global career opportunities that are right here on our doorstep. “Making sure the next generation of workers is as informed as possible about their choices is a major part of the group’s work and aims to connect young people directly with industry,” he explained.”Industry and businesses have the expert knowledge that our school leavers need as they begin to think about their careers. What this partnership is about is developing a local talent pipeline of bright and eager young people to work and live locally and to address skills gaps in the North West.”