24/03/2016

HighWire Academy Announced By Minister Bell

The new European headquarters of US-based HighWire Press Inc has been officially opened in Belfast by Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell

The company will create 74 new jobs in the city over the next three years and has launched its new HighWire Academy.

The HighWire Academy will be supported by the Department for Employment and Learning under the Assured Skills initiative and the pre-employment training will be delivered by South Eastern Regional College (SERC).

Minister Farry said: "I am delighted to announce the launch of the inaugural HighWire Academy, which will provide the company with a skilled and job ready pool of highly talented local graduates to staff their International Technical Support and Development Centre here in Belfast.

"The continuing commitment of companies such as HighWire to create jobs in Northern Ireland is hugely important to our continued economic growth. My Department continues to work closely with our Invest NI colleagues to encourage international companies to bring their business to Northern Ireland, stimulating the creation of new jobs that is so crucial to the local economy."

The Belfast office for HighWire will include global leadership for technology and customer support teams to rapidly expand platform development capabilities and work more directly with European publishers and societies.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell said: "Northern Ireland has a growing reputation as the ideal technology hub location. The availability of enthusiastic skilled graduates and staff is one of the main reasons companies are attracted to setting up here. The announcement by HighWire to select Belfast as their international location with the creation of 74 jobs is a vote of confidence for both the city and Northern Ireland. These jobs have been created with the support of Invest Northern Ireland and it will generate over £7.5million in salaries into the local economy over the three year project period."

An initial 14 graduates will undertake an intensive five week software engineering training programme delivered by SERC. The training will have a strong focus on Drupal, an open source content management system. HighWire's Open Platform technology runs on Drupal to rapidly enable platform customization and meet growing publisher and industry demand for faster integrations. For participants that complete the academy there is a potential offer of employment with HighWire Press Inc.

Dan Filby, CEO of HighWire Press, also said: "One of the reasons we selected Belfast is the outstanding talent pool. The intersection of government, academic, and private industry, encouraged by the programmes made available by the Department for Employment and Learning, creates what we believe is a unique collaboration that will continue to strengthen the talent ecosystem in Northern Ireland."

(MH/LM)

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