600 Jobs In New H&W Contract

600 workers have been recruited on short-term contracts with Belfast shipbuilders Harland and Wolff.

The positions have been created as the company prepares to carry out maintenance on an oil rig.

The 360ft tall Blackford Dolphin drill platform is being moved from Brazil to Northern Ireland for the job, which will take nearly two months.

It has been revealed that 200 of the positions are for local people, with a further 200 from Scotland and north-east England and the rest from Poland and Lithuania.

The contract is worth tens of millions of pounds to the Belfast shipyard.

David McVeigh, head of sales at H&W, said: "Harland and Wolff continues to compete successfully in a sector which has seen competition grow.

"Apart from being able to exceed stringent health and safety element requirements for such contracts, H&W is also capable of great flexibility which means we can put 600 contractors from electrical, welding, engineering and painting disciplines in place in a short time."

The contract is expected to last 50 days. The oil rig will be redeployed to the North Sea, once refurbished.

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said: "Today's oil rig jobs announcement by H&W is to be warmly welcomed. This is great news for the Belfast firm and also provides a boost to the Northern Ireland economy as a whole."

Alliance East Belfast MLA Judith Cochrane said: "This new contract will help continue east Belfast’s proud industrial heritage, especially at one of Northern Ireland's most famous companies.

"While these additional jobs are only short term, it will still be a boost to the local economy. The decision to award this contract to Harland and Wolff shows that Northern Ireland is able to compete on the international stage.

"It is the latest in a number of encouraging signs for our economy following recent major jobs announcement by Bombardier as well as Stream Global Services in east Belfast."


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