Fleming Agri to create 34 new jobs in the North West

Londonderry based manufacturer, Fleming Agri Products has announced it is making a £4 million investment and creating 34 new jobs in the North West.

The company is a leading manufacturer of agricultural and ground maintenance machinery. Making the announcement, George Fleming, Chairman of Fleming Agri-Products said:“This £4million investment will help us to meet our strategic growth plans and boost sales in external markets.

“Over the past few years, we have developed new products which have helped to significantly improve our sales performance. With this new investment and the addition of 34 new staff, we hope to break into new markets, including the US and expand our existing sales in Europe.y

“Our main goal is to increase sales in external markets and put in place the necessary resources and infrastructure to enable us to service the increased demand for our products. This investment is a major commitment to the North West region and to our existing staff to help us build long-term sustainability and we look forward to welcoming new people on board to help us drive the future of our business.”

Invest NI has offered the company £220,000 of support towards the new roles which include Production Operatives, Sales Executives and Managers. The 34 staff will be in place by 2020, with 15 of the roles already in place.

Des Gartland, Executive Director for Regional Business, Invest NI said:“Fleming Agri Products is a highly regarded business in the North West area with a strong brand reputation. We have offered Fleming Agri wide ranging support over the last number of years, helping the company improve its performance and strengthen its business.

Pictured (L-R) are Des Gartland, Executive Director for Regional Business, Invest NI and George Fleming, Chairman of Fleming Agri-Products.

Pictured (L-R) are Des Gartland, Executive Director for Regional Business, Invest NI and George Fleming, Chairman of Fleming Agri-Products.

“The company’s pragmatic approach has proven extremely successful and it is great to see an indigenous company reinvesting in the local area. The new jobs being created will generate over £700,000 in additional annual salaries for the Northern Ireland economy which is a great boost for the Derry City & Strabane District Council area.”

This £4million investment will help us to meet our strategic growth plans and boost sales

Alchemy Technology Services has announced it is setting up a European Centre of Excellence in Derry. It will provide software implementation and technology consultancy to the UK and European insurance sector. The company will provide certified staff to System Integrators, Software Providers and insurance companies for the implementation of digital solutions across the insurance industry. To meet this demand the company aims to recruit 256 staff.

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Announcing the significant investment, Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest Northern Ireland said: “The Alchemy management team has extensive knowledge of the insurance sector and in delivering transformation projects. They have identified a gap in the market to provide a service to the insurance industry and believe Londonderry is the right place to find the talent to meet this need. “Alchemy is planning to create the new roles in software implementation and technology consultancy over the next three years. The majority of the roles will be customer facing with the opportunity to work on projects right across Europe. “With average salaries in the mid-£20k range, and good opportunities for progression, these are roles that will suit college and university students, as well as graduates. “Once the project is fully implemented it will generate over £6.5 million in annual salaries, a real economic boost for Northern Ireland, and the North West specifically.” The government has offered nearly £2.3m of funding to support the creation of the new roles and secure the project for Northern Ireland.

John Harkin, Director and Founder, Alchemy said: “Insurance companies in the UK, and across Europe, are making an unprecedented investment in the digital transformation of their core systems and processes to respond to the changing demands within their marketplace. There is a real shortage of specialist skills to respond to this upsurge in digital transformation projects across the insurance industry. We plan to help meet that demand by bringing new talent into the industry. “We look forward to working with the Department for the Economy’s Assured Skills Training programme to recruit business and technology oriented graduates and college students with good communication and interpersonal skills to fill these customer facing roles. “I am originally from Derry, and have made frequent visits here in recent months as we assessed different locations for this investment. I have met with the colleges and university, and numerous students and have been impressed. I am confident that this is the right place to set up our business and find the talent we need.”

90 new jobs at E&I Engineering ‘a massive boost’ for Derry City and Strabane Region

E&I Engineering is to recruit 90 new staff with €9.5million investment and support of Enterprise Ireland. Donegal TD and Minister Joe McHugh said today the creation of 90 jobs at Burnfoot close to the Derry-Donegal border is a “massive boost and vote of confidence” in the region.

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E&I was founded by Derry businessman Philip O’Doherty in 1986 and is currently one of the region’s largest private sector employers, with a workforce of 1,200 people hailing from both sides of the border.

“It was a privilege to be in E&I Engineering this morning to see the success story that has been built up in this part of Inishowen and now has a presence in 40 countries worldwide,” the Government Chief Whip said. “I would also like to thank An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar for coming to Co Donegal and making E&I his first stop on a busy day. “E&I is at the top of its game. Enormous credit has to go to the likes of the company’s managing director Philip O’Doherty and the management team and workers whose drive and skills have taken the company to compete and win on the global stage. “And it says something about Donegal and Inishowen that the company are still striving to make their base in Ireland bigger and better.”

The E&I investment comes after Alchemy Technology Services yesterday announced 256 jobs for Derry yesterday, which in turn followed Danske Bank’s announcement of 67 jobs for the city last week.

Danske Bank creates 67 jobs in Londonderry

Danske Bank has created 67 jobs in Londonderry at a new customer protection centre.

The roles, 25 of which have already been filled, will include quality assurance managers and analysts.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered Danske Bank £234,500 towards the creation of the jobs.

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Once fully operational, the centre will generate nearly £1.5m annually for the local economy in salaries, according to Danske Bank.

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Stephen Matchett, Danske Bank’s chief financial officer, said: “This is exciting news”.

“We also had great support from Invest NI.

“The centre will be there for due diligence. How customers operate on their accounts is vital information that we need to be across.

“Cyber crime is very important to us. The centre will have direct contact to the customer.”

He said the typical salary would be in the region of £17,000 or £18,000.

Local tech entrepreneur wins UK Gamechanger of the Year Award

Robert O’Brien, CEO of leading cyber tech firm MetaCompliance, has won the UK Gamechanger of the Year Award at the ACQ5 Global Awards 2018.

Robert O’Brien, CEO of leading cyber tech firm MetaCompliance

Robert O’Brien, CEO of leading cyber tech firm MetaCompliance

Having successfully grown and sold a number of technology firms in the past, Robert is an excellent example of a modern entrepreneur, and his achievements have been recognised by the recent award win.

The ACQ5 Global Awards recognise the most outstanding organisations and professionals across the globe and celebrates the best in achievement, ability and performance.

MetaCompliance has been developing software and content for the Cyber Security and Compliance market since 2005 and is experiencing a phenomenal phase of growth as worldwide demand for its products increases.

The massive growth in cyber-crime has meant that cyber security and compliance have now become key priorities for organisations as they realise the massive implications that a data breach can have on their business.

MetaCompliance has created a product range that directly addresses the specific challenges that arise from cyber threats and corporate governance, and the company has helped over 600 organisations around the world stay cyber secure and compliant.

Clients of the company include BUPA, ITN, Jaguar LandRover, Vodafone, Volkswagen, ESB, Schroeders, Dentons, Top Oil, Jamie Oliver Ltd and one of the largest Banks in the world, with a network of over 360,000 staff in 172 countries.

Robert has been instrumental in driving the business forward and ensuring the company remains at the forefront of innovation.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, Robert is a serial technology entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in executing and developing strategies for high growth businesses.

Robert commented on the award win and the plans for the business going forward: “I’m delighted to win the UK Gamechanger of the Year Award, it’s a real buzz!

“Our purpose is to help organisations keep their staff safe online and protect their brand and reputation.

“As disrupters in our industry, we recognise that Cyber Security is hard for ordinary people and we are relentless in our vision of making this palatable, whilst ensuring people are equipped with the skills to protect themselves online.”

The award win continues the winning streak for the company after it recently won the award for the Most Innovative Cyber Security eLearning solutions, by Corporate Vision Magazine.

To support its continued growth, the company recently announced a major recruitment drive of 30 graduates for its Derry office and is still welcoming applications across all disciplines including software development, software testing, sales, marketing, HR, support, design and motion graphics.

FinTrU to create over 600 new jobs in Belfast and Londonderry as part of £38m expansion

Invest Northern Ireland’s Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton has announced that 605 new jobs are to be created by multi-award winning financial services firm FinTrU over the next five years.

This significant expansion by FinTrU will see it establish a new operation in Derry with 305 new jobs and create a further 300 new roles in Belfast.

L-R Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest NI and Darragh McCarthy, CEO of FinTrU

L-R Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest NI and Darragh McCarthy, CEO of FinTrU

Welcoming the major investment, Alastair Hamilton said: “Today’s announcement is another significant re-investment by FinTrU which will create over 600 new jobs for graduates and professionals in the Financial Services industry.

“We are delighted to have played such a significant role in the company’s rapid growth to date. The new jobs to be recruited over the next five years will generate over £15million in additional annual salaries for the local economy.

Invest NI has offered £3.2million of support for the new jobs and the Department for the Economy has offered £2.4million of support through its Assured Skills Programme.

“The company will create 305 of the new jobs in Derry which is a great endorsement of the wealth of talent in the North West. This investment will also make a significant contribution to Northern Ireland’s flourishing Financial Services sector and will deliver a projected £20million in additional new export sales for the company.” continued Alastair.

FinTrU provides regulatory resourcing services, including legal, risk, compliance, KYC, operations and consultancy, to Investment Banks and other financial institutions. It established its Belfast centre of excellence in 2014, with initial plans to recruit 80 staff and has since grown successfully to now employing over 240 staff.

Darragh McCarthy, FinTrU Founder and CEO said: “Our current operation in Belfast has been hugely successful which has been driven by the exceptional talent we have been able to recruit in Northern Ireland. FinTrU has won two ‘Fast Growth Business of the Year’ awards in 2018 and we are delighted to continue our expansion in other areas of Northern Ireland.

After reviewing a number of locations, I had no hesitation about expanding our presence into the North West due to the highly attractive location and the availability of talent that the region offers. Whilst managed as a profit-driven organisation, I see FinTrU as having a social purpose to create high-quality professional employment in Northern Ireland.

“After reviewing a number of locations, I had no hesitation about expanding our presence into the North West due to the highly attractive location and the availability of talent that the region offers. Whilst managed as a profit-driven organisation, I see FinTrU as having a social purpose to create high-quality professional employment in Northern Ireland.”

Darragh, who is a finalist in this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, added: “Our partnership over the last few years with Invest NI has been invaluable to our growth. We are also working with the Department for the Economy through its Assured Skills Programme, Belfast Metropolitan College and the North West Regional College to establish a Graduate Academy which will result in a considerable investment in training for our new employees.”

Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Economy said: “Since 2014 we have worked with FinTrU helping them recruit the talent they need to grow their business through the Department’s pre-employment skills training programme, ‘Assured Skills’.

“175 of the current FinTrU staff complement are former Assured Skills Academy graduates, highlighting the impressive talent we have in Northern Ireland. It is planned that, over the next 5 years,500 of the 605 jobs announced today will be delivered through a series of future Assured Skills Academies, providing high quality employment opportunities for graduates in the growing financial services sector.”

MANUFACTURING LOCALLY, SELLING GLOBALLY CREATES MORE JOBS AT FLEMING AGRI

Fleming Agri Products is a fifth generation family business manufacturing a range of agricultural and grounds-care machinery at their factory in Newbuildings. With almost 90% of production exported outside Northern Ireland, the company see a solid future in the viability of engineering and manufacturing in the North West region.

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Approximately 12,000 machines came off the production line in 2017 and were shipped to an extensive network of dealers and importers worldwide. Fleming’s have put a dedicated Export Manager in place in 2016 and have been growing and developing new export markets in France,
Denmark, Latvia, Spain, Slovakia, UAE, Australia, New Zealand, and most recently the USA and Russia.

The Fleming factory has been operating a two shift pattern up to the start of 2018, but
due to increased demand from both the domestic and export markets for Fleming products, the workforce has had to be increased to create a third shift. This has created 10 further new job roles initially with further growth in employment as this new shift develops and increases the production output.

Plans for a new 25,000 sq. ft. factory extension are currently being put together to
streamline the production flow and create capacity and capability for new products
designed and developed in recent years to come online. Currently Fleming’s employ 110 staff and the proposed new expansion will create a further 25 new positions at their base in Newbuildings.
For further details and employment opportunities with Fleming Agri Products please see; www.fleming-agri.co.uk

ALLSTATE EMBRACES THE ‘COGNITIVE ERA

Whatever the sector, all industries are facing disruption by digital technologies and
business models. This is presenting significant threats and opportunities for the
technology and insurance industry. Allstate Northern Ireland Senior Manager, Kathryn Harkin, shares how Allstate is embracing these opportunities to leverage the latest cognitive approaches in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) here in the North West.

“To maximise the opportunities big data provides, Allstate has created the new Allstate NI Cognitive Automation Incubator team to use ML technologies, transforming this data to provide meaningful insights. “ACAI, pronounced Ak-I, is Allstate Northern Ireland’s Cognitive Automation Incubator. It’s an immersive learning environment across a number of related disciplines, including Robotic Process Automation, Chatbots and Machine Learning. The initial focus will be on building up these much sought-after skills.

“ACAI will enable research in cognitive analytics and emerging technologies, running of proof of concepts, as well as incubating and developing prototypes to create innovative solutions for Allstate.

“Resources will stay in the ACAI environment for approximately 12-18 months working on real business problems before graduating. These teams will then lead the way in building a
community of citizen data scientists, expanding the influence of data science and analytics across the Allstate organisation.

“At a time of the 4th industrial revolution, the cognitive era isn’t about machines replacing humans. Automation will allow Allstate to introduce efficiencies and reduce repetitive, manual tasks currently done by our people.“An example of this is improving call centre efficiencies with the use of a Chabot interface using natural language processing. This will free up call centre staff for higher-value, more complex interaction.

“Using Machine Learning techniques to gain better insights from Allstate’s vast data reservoirs will ensure we make better data based decisions, focus on customer needs, offer personalised products, reduce claim time and improve the overall insurance experience,” concludes Kathryn.

KES Group to build state of the art manufacturing facility at Strabane Business Park

L-R Des Gartland, North West Regional Office Manager, Invest NI and Conor McCrossan, Managing Director, KES Group.

L-R Des Gartland, North West Regional Office Manager, Invest NI and Conor McCrossan, Managing Director, KES Group.

KES Group is to make a multi-million pound investment in a new, purpose built, manufacturing facility at Strabane Business Park. The company has purchased circa 3.5 acres of land on the Invest Northern Ireland owned Business Park to accommodate their first phase of development.

Conor McCrossan, Managing Director, KES Group said: “This is a very exciting time for our company. This new manufacturing facility at Strabane Business Park will be where we design, manufacture and develop our innovative products. We look forward to bringing our SmartBuild and Energi divisions under one roof.

“Providing a turnkey solution is integral to our business strategy. Each SmartBuild is bespoke in nature and designed to suit individual customer’s needs. Our Energi division operates a class leading service supplying packaged plantrooms to some of the most prestigious commercial contracts throughout the UK and Ireland.

“We approached Invest NI when it became apparent that our current facilities where no longer suitable due to the increase in demand. Invest NI offered Strabane Business Park as an option, and due to the location and infrastructure available it was in our best interests to invest in this area.

Invest NI has been a great support and any advice we have received from them has made a great difference. We have been able to expand our team, grow our business and this now gives us the confidence to invest in our new state of the art factory.”

Des Gartland, INI North West Regional Office Manager said: “This new 40,000 sqft factory is a significant investment by KES Group and will be a fantastic asset to Strabane and the surrounding areas.

Foods Connected Ltd is making a £1.7million investment and creating 20 new jobs to help it increase its export sales and keep up with the growing demand for its services.

The Londonderry based software firm provides a range of cloud-based software tools to help companies in the food industry manage processes and information across Supplier Approval, Quality and Trading, resulting in reduced costs and increased profitability.

Welcoming the investment, Des Gartland, Invest Northern Ireland’s North West Regional Manager said: “Foods Connected is an export focused company which is making a major investment in the North West and creating 20 new high quality jobs. The new team will be recruited over the next two years and once in place, will generate over £800,000 annually in additional salaries to the local economy.

Invest NI has offered Foods Connected support of £157,000 to help create the new jobs. Roles include systems developers and project management & business development roles.

Gary Tyre, Co-Founder and System Development Director of Foods Connected said: “This investment forms part of our long term growth strategy to become a market leader in management tools for the food sector. We’ve been delighted with the practical support and expert advice provided by Invest NI which we have used to redesign our brand through the Design Active Programme, and support our company expansion plans.

“Over the last few years, demand for our products has grown rapidly with projects well underway with major food processors and retailers in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Recruitment for the new jobs is underway and will give us the resources to keep up with demand and ensure we are well positioned to take advantage of the wide range of growth opportunities we have identified over the coming years.”

Foods Connected currently employs 19 staff and is located in The City Factory, Londonderry with additional offices in Belfast and Sydney.