The DfE skills academy will fill 130 positions for the e-commerce fashion giant’s £14 million Belfast facility.
ASOS, the online fashion retailer, announced today that it will invest £14 million in a Belfast tech hub that will employ 184 people. Economy Minister Gordon Lyons stated that the positions, which include data analysts and software engineers, will be filled over the next three years.
Many will be hired through a £1 million Department for Economy Assured Skills Academy with ASOS. The academy will screen potential candidates for 130 of the 184 positions. Invest Northern Ireland, an economic development agency, said it had been in talks with ASOS about a potential investment here for four years.
“Today’s announcement by ASOS is a clear vote of confidence in Northern Ireland and our strong appeal as an investment location,” Mr Lyons said.
“The development of the new Belfast tech hub, as well as the creation of over 180 jobs, represents a significant investment by the company in Northern Ireland.
“In exchange, our talent pool will provide ASOS with the high-quality engineering resources it requires to carry out its international expansion plans.”
He claims the jobs will generate nearly £6.5 million in additional wages for the local economy, with an average salary of around £35,000. Over the next three years, all 184 positions are expected to be filled.
“The first Assured Skills Academy with ASOS, focusing on data engineering and delivered by South Eastern Regional College, is now open for applications — I encourage anyone who is interested and eligible to apply for this exciting opportunity,” he added.
The hub will open its doors early next year, with 52 positions filled in the first year. Recruitment for a variety of positions, including engineering and data science, is already underway.
Invest Northern Ireland, which contributed nearly £1.2 million to the relocation, stated that the exact location of the hub had not yet been determined.
Nick Beighton, CEO, ASOS, said: “Our new hub will provide us with cutting-edge tech expertise to support future growth. Belfast has a wealth of tech talent and we’re excited to be establishing a permanent base in such a vibrant city.”
Cliff Cohen, chief technology officer of ASOS, added: “As we continue to scale our investment in technology, we are looking to hire talent across engineering roles into our new tech hub, and help foster talent in Northern Ireland by supporting its growing reputation as a centre for tech excellence.”
Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO, said: ”The new roles will offer a range of opportunities for software engineers and analysts, development opportunities for those in the early stages of their tech careers and will provide exciting pathways for people to join Northern Ireland’s digital workforce. We very much look forward to supporting ASOS to grow in Northern Ireland.”
The ASOS Data Engineering Assured Skills Academy is accepting applications until 5 p.m. on October 22. The successful applicants will begin training on January 10.
The announcement of the hub comes as the DfE opens the application process for its £145 million Shop Local voucher scheme for brick-and-mortar retailers.
ASOS recently released its financial results for the four months ending June 30, 2021. It revealed that online UK sales increased by 36% to £526.4 million during the period. Over the same period, its Rest of World sales increased by 11% to £715 million.
It sells its clothes in over 200 different markets. In addition to its own brands, it sells many high street favorites, including its recently acquired Arcadia brands Topshop, Topman, and Miss Selfridge, which it purchased earlier this year for £265 million, plus £65 million for current and pre-ordered stock.