PA Consulting to recruit 400 professionals for new digital centre in Belfast

11 September 2018 4 min. read
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Global management consulting firm PA Consulting has announced it will create some 400 jobs in Belfast. The move comes as PA prepares a five year development cycle for its new digital development in the city’s centre. 

The PA Consulting Group has booked a year of strong fee income growth to hit £400 million during 2017. The 6% growth the firm enjoyed came as the latest chapter in the firm’s upward incline, with turnover having taken a decade to recover from a rocky spell after the global financial crisis. During that period, PA had launched a number of new initiatives to buoy its growth prospects, including relocating its London headquarters to 10 Bressenden Place, following a 25 year tenancy at 123 Buckingham Palace Road. The new office in London Victoria were designed to complement the firm’s continued growth in the UK. 

On the back of this success, PA is seemingly looking to further UK office growth to boost its outcomes in the future. The British-origin management consulting brand has announced it will open a digital development centre in Belfast, which will be developed over the next five years. In order to facilitate this, the firm has launched a recruitment drive for specialists in software engineering, data analytics and security. The project is being supported with almost £4 million in government grants. On top of this, according Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of funding body Invest NI, PA will receive further state support for the project, as the Department of Economy will look to provide pre-employment training for 155 of the roles.

Hamilton commented, “PA has a long track record and world-class expertise in digital innovation and transformation. With offices worldwide and a Global Innovation and Technology Centre in Cambridge, the team in Belfast joins an experienced cadre of scientists, engineers, developers and technologists.”

PA Consulting to recruit 400 professionals for new digital centre in Belfast

The initial focus for PA will be on Digital Engineering, featuring roles from graduate-level developers through to Senior Engineering roles being available for those interested in digital technology to work on projects involving Dev Ops, software development, data analytics, security, and automated intelligence. Overall, the development is projected to create 400 jobs in Northern Ireland, boasting average salaries of £35,000, and generating some £14.5 million in wages annually, boosting the Northern Irish economy in the process. PA has already recruited about 40 people, including 25 digital specialists, adding to the firm’s global headcount of about 2,600 people across its operations.

Anita Chandraker, Head of Innovation at PA, said Belfast had been chosen for the expansion because of its talent pool, universities and technology sector. She explained, “We thought long and hard about where was the best place for our next phase of expansion… Northern Ireland ticked all the boxes. These factors, combined with the offer of support from the Government, made it the logical choice.” 

Belfast is home to a growing number of technology firms and the consulting industry. Big Four giant Deloitte has a large digital team in the city, having been the beneficiary of a similar project. In September 2014, Deloitte said it would create 338 jobs over the following five years as part of the second phase of its growth plans at its Belfast Delivery Centre, in an investment of £30 million that was backed by a financial package of £2.6 million from Invest NI. The firm further aims to grow its headcount in the city to 1,000 by 2020. 

Related: PA Consulting Group acquires digital consultancy Sparkler.