Business

Jobs Fund helps Deti exceed target

THE Department Enterprise, Trade and Investment has exceeded its target of 4,000 jobs by this March, minister Arlene Foster has said.

The target was set in November 2011 but Mrs Foster said the department had already beaten the milestone months ahead of schedule.

"When the Jobs Fund was introduced in November 2011 it was set a target to create 4,000 jobs by March this year, and promote 6,300 jobs by March 2015. I pleased to announce that not only have these targets been met but they have been exceeded ahead of schedule.

"The Jobs Fund has been instrumental in helping local companies create new jobs quickly. Most recent figures show that as of the end of December 2013 the fund has promoted over 7,500 jobs. With over 4,177 jobs created, this initiative is really delivering for businesses, helping them to create the jobs they need to grow and develop."

Among the most recent announcements were 65 new jobs at Finnebrogue in Downpatrick.

Earlier this month, the venison producer said it would create the mainly low-salaried positions as part of a £3 million expansion.

In November meanwhile, BT said it had jobs for 165 people at a new call centre - a month after American firm Stream announced 1,000 new jobs at its call centre in Belfast.

Mrs Foster said the Jobs Fund initiative "was introduced by Invest NI when businesses were facing difficulties due to the economic downturn".

"The performance of the Jobs Fund speaks for itself in how it has clearly met the needs of businesses. Not only has it created new employment in Northern Ireland, but the Fund has also helped the 1,687 companies to win new business, reach new markets and grow.

"This will have a real and positive impact on our local economy."

She said the Jobs Fund includes a measures to help creating employment - streamlined processes too help businesses create jobs quickly, funding to support new business start-ups by those in Neighbourhood Renewal Areas (NRA), those Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) and by social enterprises.

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