Belfast gaming start-up Rocket Flair Studios to create several new jobs

Belfast gaming start-up Rocket Flair Studios to create several new jobs

Rocket Flair Studios is best known for the ancient Egyptian city-building game Dynasty of the Sands, which is available on PC.

Start-up based in Belfast that develops video games 14 new positions will be created at Rocket Flair Studios, covering full-stack and front-end development, lighting and animation engineering, and quality assurance.

Invest Northern Ireland has provided the company £98,000 in funding to help create the positions, eight of which are already in place.

Following the completion of a multimillion-pound contract with an unnamed worldwide games developer, the company announced its employment plans. In order to fulfill its contract with the games producer, the start-up will invest £700,000 in its operations in addition to hiring additional employees.

In 2017, Rocket Flair Studios opened its doors in Belfast. It focuses on creating specialty city-builder games for PC using immersive technologies such as AR and VR. Dynasty of the Sands, a legendary ancient Egypt city-building game, was created by it.

“We are delighted that our innovative products have led us to secure a multimillion-pound contract with a prominent global games developer,” said the start-up’s managing director, James Bradley.

“This is a huge step forward for us, especially as 94pc of the sales from the project will be in markets outside Northern Ireland. This will bolster our reputation globally.”

Bradley noted that the company approached Invest Northern Ireland in 2020 when it was still a six-person team. Rocket Flair Studios was able to increase its staff thanks to the agency’s help, he said, giving it “the capacity and specialist skills to secure and deliver this contract.”

“We now hope to make our plans to create a centre of expertise for strategy-based PC games in Northern Ireland a reality,” he added.

Susan O’Kane, Invest NI’s eastern regional manager, said that the gaming start-up “really understands the global gaming industry and has created a niche with Dynasty of the Sands, which it has received worldwide recognition for”, and that securing a multimillion-pound contract at such an early stage in its business is a “significant achievement”.

She added that the Invest NI team is continuing to work closely with Bradley and Rocket Flair Studios to “help deliver a strategic plan for the company to progress at pace and scale”.


The 6 local NI councils that are currently hiring

The 6 local NI councils that are currently hiring

Ards & North Down Borough Council

Ards & North Down Borough Council have 2 key vacancies this month. They are recruiting for an Assistant Regeneration Officer and a Business Researcher. You’ll find out more and how to apply for these jobs on the link below.

Location: Bangor

Salary: £20k-£30k

Find out more

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council are recruiting for 3 vacancies in March. They are looking for a Senior Planning Officer £35k-£45k, a Corporate Project Manager £30k-£40k and Technical Assistant £20k-£30k. Check out the full list of jobs to see if there is something for you.

Location: Banbridge

Salary: Varied see above

Find out more

Belfast City Council

Belfast City Council is currently recruiting for the following roles: Housing Officer £30k-£40k, Grants Officer £30k-£40k and Project Officer £30k-£40k. They are also looking for an Area Intervention Officer £40k-£50k to work in wider University and Lower Ormeau Area. View the latest job opportunities on nijobfinder today.

Location: Belfast

Salary: varied

Find out more

Derry City & Strabane District Council

Derry City and Strabane District Council have 3 jobs available in March. The first role is for a Business & Investment Project Officer with a salary of £30k-£40k. They then have 2 legal roles – a Solicitor £30k-£40k and a Junior Solicitor £20k-£30k. See more details on nijobfinder.

Location: Derry City

Salary: varied

Find out more

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council based in Ballymena are looking for a Communications and Media Relations Officer and are offering a salary of between £30k and £40k. For more details click on the link below.

Location: Ballymena

Salary: £30k-£40k

Find out more

Newry, Mourne & Down District Council

Newry, Mourne & Down District Council has 2 jobs listed this month, both based in Newry/Downpatrick. The first one is a for a Skills & Employability Manager and the second one is for a Skills & Employability Officer. Both roles have a salary band of £30k-£40k. Find out more on the link below.

Location: Newry / Downpatrick

Salary: £30k-£40k

Find out more

View all Northern Ireland Council jobs on nijobfinder

Never miss out on your dream job by signing up to nijobfinder today. Get job alerts by email, set handy reminders to apply for jobs, quickly apply from all devices and track your applications all in one place! It has never been easier to find your next career move.

According to a survey, employment in Northern Ireland has hit record highs

According to a survey, employment in Northern Ireland has hit record highs

Last month, the number of employees in Northern Ireland reached a new high of 777,300, indicating that the employment market rebound following Covid-19 is taking root.

According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the number of employment paid through the PAYE system increased by 5.4 percent year on year and 0.5 percent in February (Nisra).

Employee numbers were up 3.3 percent from March 2020, marking the ninth month in a row that they were higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Overall employment levels, including self-employed people, as well as total hours worked, have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to Nisra.

HMRC PAYE statistics also revealed that, at £1,904 per month, workers’ median monthly income had declined by £35 over the month, but was up £113 over the year.

Separate figures from the labor force survey indicated that unemployment and employment rates remained stable from November to January, at 2.7 percent and 70.4 percent, respectively.

The rate of economic inactivity – defined as individuals who are neither working nor seeking for job – remained stable at 27.5 percent.

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits was 39,600, or 4% of the workforce, down 900 from January’s revised total.

It was also 38% lower than the pre-pandemic total of March 2020, but 30% higher than the pandemic era peak of May 2020.

In February, 40 individuals were laid off, bringing the total number of verified layoffs for the year to 2,070, a reduction of 64% from the previous year.

In February, 210 people were nominated for layoffs, for a total of 2,040 in the year to February, an 81 percent decrease from the previous year.

In December, a separate measure of employee jobs – which is less up to date than the HMRC PAYE statistics – reached a new record of 782,450, up 12,290 jobs year on year and 2,850 jobs quarter on quarter.

The number of jobs in the services industry reached a new high in December, with 636,290. In the three months leading up to December, the sector created almost 2,000 new positions, including 900 construction jobs.

However, in the quarter ending in December 2021, there were 290 fewer manufacturing employment.

In the year to December, both the private and public sectors added jobs, with the private sector adding 563,940 positions and the public sector adding 217,790.

For November to January, the number of weekly hours worked was anticipated to be 26.9 million, down 3.2 percent from the previous quarter.

Home Bargains creating 120 jobs at new Belfast outlet

Home Bargains creating 120 jobs at new Belfast outlet

In April, Home Bargains will open a new 33,000-square-foot store in west Belfast’s Kennedy Centre, employing 120 people.

Home Discounts said it was “delighted” to serve the community and that its investment in the store would enable it to deliver “even more bargains” to west Belfast.

Despite the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the shopping center reported its greatest Christmas ever for 2021.

Over the holiday season, the Kennedy Center had a 24 percent increase in foot traffic compared to the prior record day, with nearly 30,000 people passing through the doors.

In addition to the new Home Bargains store, Peacocks, a bargain fashion brand, has secured a 10-year lease on its 10,000 sq ft location.
Titanic Telecommunications has also secured a five-year lease for a new office, while the popular 26 West Bar and Grill has also inked a new 10-year lease.

“We are approaching the centre’s 31st year in business on a high,” Kennedy Centre manager John Jones said of the latest results and the year ahead.

“We are delighted with the latest figures, which are testament to the fantastic offerings at the centre, and we are grateful to our loyal customers who have supported us over the years.

“Many of our retailers also reported record sales. During a turbulent time through the pandemic, the end of last year and into the start of 2022 is proving to be a really positive and encouraging time.”

Mr Jones added that there will be some “more big announcements” for the centre over the coming months.

“We have 57 businesses located at the centre and we are looking forward to seeing the offerings expand for our customers,” he stated.


This year, BT will hire 26 graduates and apprentices in Belfast

This year, BT will hire 26 graduates and apprentices in Belfast

Later this year, telecoms behemoth BT will hire 26 graduates and apprentices in Belfast.

The news is part of the company’s intentions to hire over 600 graduates and apprentices this year across the UK. For the September 2022 intake, 13 graduates and 13 apprentices are needed.

To support the UK’s fast-growing digital sectors, positions in engineering, customer service, applied research, and cyber-security will be available.

The new hires will also help the firm create and expand its 5G network across the United Kingdom.

Birmingham, Bristol, Dundee, Glasgow, Ipswich, London, and Manchester are among the cities where the new positions will be filled.

Over the last three years, the BT Group has hired over 2,000 apprentices and graduates, making it one of the largest private sector apprenticeship employers in the UK.

At any given time, the organization has roughly 4,000 employees working on their certifications.
The program, which will be completed in 2024, has already launched future-fitted, high-tech workspaces in Birmingham, London, and Warrington, where employees can interact, develop, and produce the best for BT’s clients and the company.

PJ Bowman, 23, from Belfast, is a recent local graduate who supports both BT’s placement and graduate programs.

PJ said: “I initially joined as a placement student during my degree, returning on the HR graduate programme and it was one of the best decisions that I have made.

He added: “It is such an interesting job, no two days are ever the same! It has given me so many learning opportunities to broaden my skillset with access to valuable resources that can be used for development and growth across the business.”

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Ann McGregor praised BT’s continuous investment in local talent.

“Providing apprentice opportunities and graduate roles which will develop digital skill-sets is exactly what we need to prepare Northern Ireland’s economy for the future,” she said.

“BT is a major employer, so we welcome this announcement and its continued long-term presence in Northern Ireland. This announcement is testament to the skills of our local workforce and BT’s confidence in it.”

Debbie White, Chief Human Resources Officer, BT Group added: “BT is at the heart of the UK’s digital economy and as one of the largest employers of graduates and apprentices in the UK, we offer unparalleled development opportunities.

800 new jobs opening in the financial and healthcare sectors

800 new jobs opening in the financial and healthcare sectors

Over 800 jobs have been announced in Northern Ireland in the financial services and healthcare industries.

Citi, Northern Ireland’s largest financial services employer, will hire more than 300 new employees, while Connected Health, an independent domiciliary care provider, will hire 500 new employees.

Citi, the only major investment bank with a presence in Belfast, employs over 3,200 employees across four locations and covers 21 different departments, including legal, HR, compliance, audit, markets, and technology.

The company has hired 1,000 new employees in the last year, and the vacancies offered this year range from apprentices and graduates to experienced employment.

“After launching our business in Belfast 16 years ago with 375 technology professionals, we are thrilled to be Northern Ireland’s largest financial services employer with over 3,200 colleagues,” said James Bardrick, head of Citi UK.

“We have been able to grow rapidly due to the incredibly deep and broad pool of talent present in Northern Ireland. A key feature of life at Citi is giving our people the opportunity to live locally but work globally, supporting our businesses around the world. We are looking forward to continuing our investment at Citi Belfast and developing our team locally.”

Leigh Meyer, site head of Citi in Belfast, said: “Every day in Belfast, our global teams interact with employees in over 100 countries processing over 600,000 transactions and supporting next-generation technology solutions for enterprise. They deliver critical services to the bank and its customers to make sure we are a stronger and safer organisation for our clients.”

Meanwhile, 500 new Connected Health positions will be paid at the London Real Living Wage rate of £11.05 per hour.

The minimum wage increase at Connected Health, according to the firm, is “a huge milestone for care workers in Northern Ireland,” which has the greatest share of non-living wage jobs (21.3 percent) of all UK regions, with almost 236,000 positions paying less than the true Living Wage. For those above the age of 25, the current government minimum wage is £8.91 per hour.

Connected Health’s head of clinical services and training, Theresa Morrison, said a new funding support package helped the homecare firm offer the higher rate.

She said: “Our hospitals are under severe pressure and increased homecare capacity in our communities provides a key solution to alleviating that pressure. As a sector, we need many more local carers working in their own communities and Connected Health is continuing to lead the drive to substantially increase staffing capacity in order to meet unprecedented and ever-growing demand.

“The Department of Health’s £23m support package to help the entire social care sector recruit and retain staff is playing a big part in our move to provide our hard-working teams with a fair wage.”

Mallaghan creates 40 jobs as demand for air travel increases

Mallaghan creates 40 jobs as demand for air travel increases

As demand for its airport ground support equipment develops as global air travel resumes, a County Tyrone manufacturing company has created 40 new jobs.

Mallaghan said it has seen an increase in orders for airport buses, fire rescue stairs, catering trucks, de-icers, passenger stairs, and maintenance platform lifts from major airlines across the world.

The move will increase the company’s personnel by 15%, with positions including welders, fitters, and spray painters, among others.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on aviation but finally, we are seeing the green shoots of recovery with demand for air travel on the up,” Company Director, Niall Mallaghan said. “This increase in demand is reflected by an uplift in orders for Mallaghan products which has opened up opportunities for up to 40 positions at our Dungannon site as we deliver product to major airlines and airports right across the world.“

Aer Lingus, British Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Delta, easyJet, Emirates, Etihad, Menzies Aviation, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Ryanair, SAS, and Swissport are among the company’s clients, which include Aer Lingus, British Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Delta, easyJet, Emirates, Etihad, Menzies Aviation, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Ryanair, SAS, and Swissport.

In response to customer demand for more efficient and low-carbon technology, the business said it is striving to electrify much of its airport equipment.

“This is a very exciting time for the company as we further develop our i-tec range that will have a direct impact on reducing carbon emissions within aviation,” Mr Mallaghan said. “Innovation has always driven all we do at Mallaghan and we are so proud to be playing such a critical role in reshaping the industry as it strives to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We are very much looking forward to welcoming talented new members to the team who will be instrumental in the ongoing development and future success of our i-tec portfolio.”


NIE Networks and a manufacturing company are looking for 150 new employees

NIE Networks and a manufacturing company are looking for 150 new employees

NIE Networks, which owns the local power grid, has announced the creation of 110 new jobs, including craft and technical positions.

Mallaghan, a Dungannon-based producer of airport ground support equipment, has announced that it is hiring 40 workers as demand for air travel rises.

NIE is looking for engineers, analysts, and support personnel in areas such as IT and digital, procurement, HR, and finance, in addition to craft and technical people.

It’s part of a goal, according to NIE Networks, to upgrade the power network in order to combat climate change.

In total, it will invest £50 million in the network over the next three years. Adding renewable energy infrastructure to enable customers embrace low-carbon technology and cars like heat pumps and electric automobiles is one example.

As part of its efforts to expand the renewable energy sector’s skills base, NIE says it is providing grade opportunities and apprenticeships. In collaboration with the Department of Economy, it will offer traineeships and apprenticeships.

Managing director Paul Stapleton said: “The electricity network sits at the heart of Northern Ireland’s journey towards net zero carbon emissions and is a central component of economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our investment and the skills we bring on board and develop at NIE Networks in the next few years will help Northern Ireland reach those aims and supercharge green growth in the years ahead.

“We’re delighted to be hiring in all areas of the organisation and it is an exciting time to be working at the cutting edge of clean energy technology. NIE Networks are a key enabler for Northern Ireland’s society and economy and we look forward to rolling out further investment plans in the near future.”

The investment will help fulfill the Executive’s aim of net zero by growing renewable generation, according to John French, CEO of the Utility Regulator.

Meanwhile, Mallaghan claims that its recruiting drive will result in a 15% increase in its personnel. As the need for air travel grows, so does the number of orders for Mallaghan items from airlines and airports around the world.

Airport buses, fire rescue stairs, catering trucks, de-icers, passenger stairs, and maintenance platform lifts are among the products it manufactures.

Automotive electricians, welders, assembly fitters, hydraulic fitters, plasma operators, tube laser operators, and spray painters are among the positions available at Mallaghan.

Its customers include Aer Lingus, British Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Delta, easyJet, Emirates, Etihad, Menzies Aviation, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Ryanair, SAS and Swissport.

Primark is laying off 400 people across the UK, with stores in Northern Ireland among those affected

Primark is laying off 400 people across the UK, with stores in Northern Ireland among those affected

Primark has announced the elimination of about 400 jobs across its UK outlets.

Northern Ireland outlets are included in the employment cuts, according to a spokeswoman.

Across its 191 UK locations, the business employs roughly 29,000 employees.

Primark made the announcement as part of a plan to simplify its retail operations, which includes proposed changes to management structures in its UK locations.

It is estimated that the proposed changes would see an overall reduction of around 400 jobs across the UK store estate as a result of roles being removed and a new entry-level management role being created.

The suggested changes, according to them, are intended to provide clearer responsibility, greater flexibility, and more managerial assistance on the work floor in order to better meet the business and customer needs of today.

Kari Rodgers, Primark Retail Director for the UK said: “The changes we’re proposing will deliver a simplified and more consistent management structure across all of our stores, provide more opportunities for career progression and offer greater flexibility, all of which are designed to help us provide the best possible experience for both our customers and our colleagues.

“We are now focused on supporting our colleagues who are affected by these proposed changes and will be going through the consultation process.”

Primark will now enter a consultation process with impacted employees and their representatives.

Stena Line has launched a significant recruitment drive with up to 60 job openings

Stena Line has launched a significant recruitment drive with up to 60 job openings

Stena Line has initiated a recruitment effort in the Irish Sea to fill up to 60 vacancies onboard its ships.

This is the first time the ferry firm has run a large-scale recruitment effort.

Onboard service assistants and chefs are needed, and the company will provide comprehensive training as well as free lodging and meals onboard.

The ‘Life Less Ordinary’ campaign emphasizes the unique work/life balance on offer, with 50% of time spent off.

The current recruitment process for diverse tasks as part of Stena Line’s crews at sea is being driven by the need to be prepared for increased consumer levels post-pandemic, according to the company.

Head of Onboard Sales and Services (OSS), Stephen Bryden said: “We are all familiar with the natural job re-evaluation that goes on at this time of the year but as we approach two years of dealing with effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus on career choices and in particular striking the right work/life balance has never been more acute .

“Whilst we appreciate that a life at sea isn’t feasible for everyone, the challenges of the last few years have shone a light on a variety of jobs and careers which have struck a chord with a lot of people.

“As the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, we believe Stena Line can offer a number of unique opportunities to people from a variety of backgrounds and experience to take up a new challenge in a sector of the travel industry which is posed to hopefully get back to and surpass its previous level.

“Currently we are looking for onboard service assistants and chefs which will be supported with full training as well as free accommodation and meals onboard.”

Stena Line is the Irish Sea’s largest ferry operator, with the largest fleet, operating routes such as mixed passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard.

It also offers a freight-only route between Belfast and Heysham, as well as up to 238 weekly sailing choices between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

With 12 crossings per week, Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg.

All roles receive comprehensive training and support. According to the organization, they offer solid long-term professional advancement as well as excellent job benefits. The deadline for applications is February 4, 2022. On Monday, February 14, 2022, there will be interviews and Open Days.