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KMPG & DfE Announce New Assured Skills Academies


Published: 17 February 2021

Economy Minister Diane Dodds today announced KPMG, one of the world’s top four accounting firms, is investing £14million in its Belfast operation and will create 200 new jobs.

The investment will see the audit, tax, consulting and deal advisory firm establish a new Centre of Excellence in Belfast, which will deliver a new range of digital consultancy services in major growth areas including Cyber Security, Applied Intelligence (AI) and Digital Transformation for clients in Great Britain and Ireland.

Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Met, said: “This is a significant investment in future skills. Belfast Met is pleased to be working on this new series of academies with KPMG and DfE, and we look forward to welcoming our first cohort of learners. Through this programme, participants will receive the most up-to-date, industry-relevant training in this growing sector, giving learners vital opportunities to gain employment after completing the course.”

Welcoming the investment, the Minister said: “Today’s announcement of 200 new jobs by KPMG is excellent news for Northern Ireland’s burgeoning professional and financial services sector. KPMG established its first office here in 1974 and has since demonstrated its commitment to Northern Ireland time and time again as its operation here has continued to grow.

“This new investment will see it almost double its workforce in Northern Ireland. Of the new roles, 160 will participate in my Department’s pre-employment Assured Skills training programme, which will offer the company a pipeline of skilled graduates over the next three years. We will run eight Assured Skills Academies with Belfast Met over the next three years, and the first one is open for applications now.

“Once in place, the jobs will contribute over £7million in additional annual salaries to the local economy. This investment also reinforces KPMG’s confidence in Northern Ireland as a key business location post-EU Exit. It is important that we continue to showcase Northern Ireland as an attractive location for inward investment, offering guaranteed talent, a business-friendly environment and strong tech expertise.”

Johnny Hanna, Partner in Charge of KPMG in Northern Ireland, said: “The creation of the new Centre of Excellence is the next step in the evolution of KPMG in Northern Ireland. We have continually grown the firm to meet the ever-changing demands of our clients and the addition of this digital centre adds an exciting offering, which will have global reach.

“The case for building the team here was made easy by the depth of talent on offer in the digital technology space and the assistance of Invest NI. This investment cements our commitment to NI and we look forward to establishing a world-class team.”
Invest NI has offered £1million of support for the new jobs to secure the project for Northern Ireland. The Department for the Economy is also funding pre-employment Assured Skills Academy training places in the amount of almost £1.3million over three years.

The first Assured Skills Academy will provide participants with industry-relevant training from 19 April to 23 June to position them strongly for a role as a Data Scientist, Data Engineer or a Network Analytics Engineer. Completing the training guarantees an interview for a role in KPMG’s Belfast Centre of Excellence.

Paul Toner, Head of Consulting at KPMG Ireland, said: “Providing our global clients with highly skilled consultancy expertise is key to our vision. After reviewing a number of locations, we had no hesitation about expanding our presence in NI. The combined support of Invest NI and the Department’s Assured Skills team was very attractive and reassured us that we will be able to develop a knowledgeable and highly skilled team here in Belfast.”

Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO, said: “I am delighted that Invest NI has been able to secure this investment for Northern Ireland. This comes at an excellent time as we focus on rebuilding our economy. Having such a prestigious and world-renowned company reinvest in Northern Ireland is a great endorsement of the wealth of talent and expertise that Northern Ireland has to offer and will further strengthen our dynamic financial services cluster. We look forward to continuing to build our partnership with KPMG for years to come.”

Applications to the first KPMG Assured Skills Academy, focussing on Applied Intelligence, are open now and will close midnight Sunday 14 March. Applicants must hold at least a 2:2 in any degree discipline, or a Level 5 qualification in an ICT subject.

For more information and to apply, visit, www.nidirect.gov.uk/assured-skills

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