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Belfast Met: nurturing inward investment

Northern Ireland, and in particular Belfast, continues to be an attractive location for inward investment.

Belfast is currently ranked the world’s top destination city for financial services and has recently seen a growth in areas including software development and cyber security.

Over the past few years, Belfast Met has played an increasingly significant role in supporting inward investment activity and new job creation by delivering over 30 Graduate Academy programmes through the Assured Skills Programme.

Funded by the Department for the Economy in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland, these award-winning Academy programmes provide a supply of skilled talent tailored to the needs of new inward investors; as well as providing existing employers with the requisite skills to enable business expansion.

Working in partnership with companies including Deloitte, PwC, EY, FinTrU, WhiteHat Securities and Metaswitch, the college designs, develops and delivers a bespoke training solution to fulfil the organisation’s specific skills requirements. A range of academies have been delivered across various sectors including DATA, Cyber Security, Human Capital, Contract Management, Financial Services and Cloud, resulting in employment ready graduates with the skills required for industry roles. Over 600 graduates have completed the programme, of which 93% were offered employment upon completion.

A key example of this successful approach is the work the College has undertaken with leading global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions. Belfast Met has been working with the company since 2014 and, in partnership, have developed a custom-made Academy programme, which has currently just completed its fifth intake. The participating graduates come from a variety of backgrounds, from local and international universities to college graduates and those newly returning to the world of work.

Jeff Owen, Head of Centre at Alexander Mann Solutions, said: “One of the main reasons we chose Belfast as a key Global Client Service Centre, was the potential pool of talent in Northern Ireland. With over 3,000 colleagues and ambitious growth plans in the coming months, our ability to hire and nurture talented individuals is critical. The Academy programme is key in enabling us to source, hire and develop a new generation of talented and high-potential individuals as we look to build and grow our organisation in Northern Ireland.”

The Belfast Global Client Service Centre officially opened in December 2014 and is currently home to over 150 employees, of which 55% are Academy graduates who have progressed to work in a variety of roles including sourcing, accounts, business intelligence, marketing, and technology, with over 60% achieving promotions within their first two years of employment.

The College’s mission is to make a fundamental impact on the economic and social success of the city of Belfast and beyond, by equipping its people, employers and communities with the education and skills for work. We are committed to working with industry to provide the skills required to facilitate economic growth, attract new investment and look forward to the next phase of Graduate Academies commencing in 2017.

For more information about Belfast Met, and our range of business support services, please visit belfastmet.ac.uk or contact Siobhan at [email protected]

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