Posted on Monday 28 April 2014 by Ulster Business
Enterprise minister Arlene Foster, left, is pictured, from left to right, with Mike McKerr, Managing Partner, EY Ireland, First Minister Peter Robinson and Employment Minister Stephen Farry.
The high level of skills available amid Northern Ireland's workforce was said to have persuaded business advisory EY to expand its workforce here by 486.
The new jobs will be added to the current headcount of 145 over the next four years and will command average salaries of just under £40,000-a-year each, a figure which is well above the current average salary of around £24,000.
Crucially, the division will be working on contracts based outside Northern Ireland, a fact which First Minister Peter Robinson said means it won't be cannibalizing work from other financial services firms operating here.
It brings EY, which was formerly known as Ernst & Young, into a similar league in Northern Ireland as rivals Deloitte and PwC, although the latter still retains the largest presence.
Management said the new EY jobs will be a mixture of advisory and assurance posts and will cover both "static and mobile" roles, meaning some of the roles will be based here but will involve a significant amount of travel.
The company will also be looking for workers with varying levels of expertise, from graduate level up to more experienced hires with a number of years of experience.
Mike McKerr, Managing Partner, EY Ireland said the next few years would be an exciting time for EY in Northern Ireland.
"As a global company with a presence in more than 150 countries, we continually evaluate the best locations for expansion to ensure maximum productivity and growth," he said. "We have been working closely with Invest Northern Ireland for some time on this project and their support and advice has been instrumental in EY's decision to locate this project in Belfast."
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said there was stiff competition for the investment, which is worth £19m a year in salaries alone.
"This investment could have gone to a number of other locations and the decision to choose Belfast is based on the availability of a skilled, loyal and committed workforce and our robust infrastructure which provides reliable, high speed and cost effective connectivity.