A professional services firm has announced the creation of 1,000 new jobs in Northern Ireland over the next five years.
The expansion from EY will bring its workforce in the region to 1,900 and enable it to establish a hub in the north-west.
The announcement comes as Belfast is hosting a major investment summit, with businesses and investors from around the globe in attendance.
EY deals in assurance, tax, consulting and strategy and corporate transactions.
The investment is supported by business support agency Invest NI and the Department for the Economy.
The roles will be filled by a mix of experienced candidates, recent graduates and school leavers in areas such as cybersecurity, data analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.
Rob Heron, EY Northern Ireland managing partner, said: “Today is an exceptionally proud day for all of us in EY Northern Ireland as we announce a thousand new jobs in the region over the next five years and aim to more than double our headcount to 1,900 in the years ahead.
“Thanks to our partnership with the Department for the Economy and Invest Northern Ireland, we have been able to create this pipeline of jobs and skills development opportunities that we are announcing today.”
The company said it would use a new assured skills academy programme to provide opportunities for candidates to reskill and explore new career options.
Mike Brennan, permanent secretary at the Department for the Economy, said: “This announcement of 1,000 new jobs by EY is excellent news for the local economy and a further endorsement of Northern Ireland as a rising global player in the fintech and professional services sector.
“This investment by EY strongly aligns with the innovation and inclusivity objectives of the department’s 10X Economic Vision and will provide opportunities for individuals across Northern Ireland to enter the sector.
“My department’s assured skills academies will assist in filling 351 of these jobs across a range of roles and skills areas including data and analytics, cybersecurity, procurement and commercial contract management and project and programme management.”
Welcoming the investment, Mel Chittock, interim CEO of Invest NI, said: “Over many years, Invest Northern Ireland has developed a strong, strategic partnership with EY’s local management, and we are delighted that the firm has chosen Northern Ireland against other competitive locations globally for this significant investment.
“It will also further raise the standing of Northern Ireland on the global stage, positioning it as a fintech and professional services powerhouse and helping to develop the innovation capabilities on which our future economy will be based.”
Meanwhile, a green fuel producer in Belfast is among the firms receiving a share of nearly £46 million from the Government to use home-grown energy.
Catagen is being given the funding to produce green hydrogen and e-diesel for industrial vehicles in Northern Ireland.
Dr Andrew Woods, co-founder of Catagen, said: “The pathway to decarbonise the off-road mobile machinery is difficult, these vehicles tend to be larger, built for extreme conditions, have long duty cycles and high-power demand.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so we are delighted to be making this bold step with Terex and Wrightbus to develop an end-to-end decarbonised solution.”
Minister for energy consumers and affordability Amanda Solloway said: “As we continue towards our goal of reaching net zero by 2050, we want to ensure businesses have all the support they need to power our transition to a cleaner, cheaper energy system.”