Posted on Thursday 12 May 2011 by Ulster Business

[caption id="attachment_1036" align="alignnone" width="510" caption="MITIE chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith and Bob Forsyth, managing director of MITIE Total Security Management, at the opening of the MiTec centre in Craigavon"]MITIE chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith and Bob Forsyth, managing director of MITIE Total Security Management, at the opening of the MiTec centre in Craigavon[/caption]

FTSE 250 company MITIE has created 38 new jobs in Craigavon at a new hi-tech security centre, and plans to double or triple the size of the operation over the next three years if it proves successful.

The advanced security hub, known as MiTec, will help some of the world's largest companies protect their personnel and premises through a suite of services including 24 hour remote monitoring of sites and buildings, lone worker protection and real-time vehicle tracking. Bristol-based strategic outsourcing and energy services company MITIE has invested more than £2m in the development in Craigavon, which will serve customers across the UK and Ireland in both the public and private sectors. Over 60 people from the security industry and MITIE's clients attended the official opening, including representatives of Capgemini, Capita and Eurostar. Speaking to Ulster Business after the event, MITIE chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith said the company sees major potential for growth in its Total Security Management business. "We decided around 2003-04 that we would grow our security business across the UK and Ireland. It was quite small at the time and we wanted it to be as big as some of the other businesses in MITIE, so we embarked on a large acquisition strategy where we bought Initial Security, The Watch Security and Trident Security," she said. "Then we came to the conclusion that we needed a flagship remote monitoring centre that did things differently but also showcased the best technology to our clients. We wanted one base for that after having integrated all our acquisitions and when we looked around for the best place to put it we very much liked what Invest NI said about working here. "It is quite a bold move for us as we haven't had any business in Northern Ireland. Although we know the outsourcing industry here we didn't have a base here. It was important therefore to work with a partner that could help us get set up and help support us." While Northern Ireland's strong broadband links and low cost base were attractive, it was the quality of the current workforce and future talent pool that most encouraged MITIE to establish the centre here, said McGregor-Smith. "The employment piece is critical because if we don't have the right people at the right level of skills then we couldn't expand, but we certainly feel we can expand here because we think there are some great skills here," she said. "If all goes to plan I would look to double or triple staff numbers over the next three years depending on the amount of work we can put through here. I think it could be quite significant. Now we are here and established and our clients know about it, I think a lot of clients will move to it as well." MITIE has revenues of £1.7bn and over 60,000 employees in the UK and Europe. It is a leading security provider in the UK, employing 12,000 officers and delivering 4,000 security contracts across 10,000 sites. Security currently makes up about 15% of MITIE's business but the company's CEO sees this increasing rapidly, particularly in remote monitoring and response where clients now want seamless technology alongside traditional man guarding services. As well as monitoring facilities, MiTec provides real time response to incidents via call outs to local police forces and MITIE's mobile security personnel. The company believes the integration of these services makes it unique amongst security providers in the UK. It also says MiTec has been ‘future-proofed' to ensure it can upgrade as technology advances and clients' needs change. The centre has been designed to stringent BS 5979 Category II standards and is protected by high tensile steel walls and vibration detectors throughout. "Clients want more visibility from outsourcers and technology allows that to happen, which gives clients more confidence to give you more responsibility," said McGregor-Smith. "For us this is very exciting because it is the first time we've invested this amount of money in one facility. It is very much a flagship for us."


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