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65 jobs created after Erneside Next extension gets green light

January 26, 2015 11:12 am



SHOPPERS in Enniskillen and Fermanagh are set to benefit from an extension of the Next retail unit, which is to undergo a complete revamp over the next nine months. 

65 jobs are to be created in the two-storey, new Next store. It will combine the popular homewares with clothing and accessories for women, plus a full range of men’s and children’s wear.

Work is to commence on the expansion of one of Erneside Shopping Centre’s most popular retail units late January.

Brian McAtamney, Centre Manager, Erneside Shopping Centre, said that the store would continue trading as normal during the works, and added: “In response to customer demand, we are almost doubling the size of the existing store, which has proved a very popular tenant in the shopping centre.”

More in this week’s Fermanagh Herald.

‘No jobs losses, in so far as possible’ says new council

November 21, 2014 8:30 am
The Enniskillen Townhall gkfh18

No job losses according to council Chief Executive

AS far both councils are concerned, there will be no job losses when Fermanagh and Omagh councils amalgamate in April next year.

It will be a ‘significant’ employer, according to Brendan Hegarty, its chief executive.

The two existing ‘townhalls’ will continue to operate, with 356 staff based in Enniskillen and 383 in Omagh, along with some 33-43 planners.

Planning decisions on local issues is one of the extra functions of the new Fermanagh and Omagh council.

Mr Hegarty sat alongside Thomas O’Reilly, the presiding councillor and Margaret McMahon, one of the two ‘change’ managers, at a public consultation meeting in Lisnaskea last week.

He told the meeting that all staff would be kept in post: “In so far as possible, all jobs will be accommodated, although, where senior managers are concerned, there may be some retionalisation.”

The council’s other new responsibilities include urban regeneration and community development, local economic development and local tourism, rural development (in part), and off-street parking.

Mr Hegarty explained that from 1st April next year, the new council will be taking on the duties of the existing councils, from recreation and sport to ownership of St Angelo Airport.

He said waste management, reducing the amount going straight into landfill, would continue to be the new council’s biggest expenditure.

“For every tonne of waste that goes into landfill, we are charged £82.50, and if we don’t meet those targets, we face fines in the region of £250 a tonne.”

He then revealed that ratepayers living in Lisnaskea, Irvinestown and Enniskillen would shortly be getting brown bins to put their food and green (eg grass cuttings) waste into.

He then focused on the new rates bills.

He explained that the new (district) rate for the new council would not be known till January or February next year.

“We are not in position to predict what the rate will be. All we can do is go back to the rates convergence model for Fermanagh/Omagh. It predicted that, at that time, an increase for Fermanagh ratepayers of 7.4 per cent (domestic rate) and 4.5 per cent (non-domestic).

“The government are currently working on quantifying exactly what the difference will be, but Fermanagh is one of four most impacted areas.

“Are we likely to see an increase in the domestic rate of seven per cent? Central government are saying ‘No’. They have allocated £30m of rates convergence support which will offset that. We are told this scheme will operate for three to four years.”

The new council will be 40-strong and will represent a population of 113,500 of whom 64 per cent are Catholic and 33 per cent Protestant.

Major boost as 49 jobs come to Fermanagh

October 22, 2014 3:28 pm
PEYE  Lakeland Trading 0001

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Matthew Martin of Lakeland Trading Solutions Ltd after announcing that the company is setting up a contact centre in Enniskillen, creating 49 jobs over the next three years.

Lakeland Trading Solutions Ltd is setting up a contact centre in Enniskillen, creating 49 jobs over the next three years.

The announcement made today (Wednesday) is a major boost to the employment market in Fermanagh.

Lakeland Trading Solutions, trading as LIMA, is a new company which will primarily sell home and contents insurance.

Welcoming the investment decision Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said:

“I am very pleased that Lakeland Trading Solutions has chosen Enniskillen as the location for its new business. This investment underlines that it is not just Belfast that investors look at when considering where to locate in Northern Ireland, and that it all comes down to finding the right location to match their individual needs.

“These new jobs are a boost to the region offering flexible employment to a wide range of people, from those with experience in customer service to others looking to develop new work skills. It is anticipated that the majority of the jobs will be filled by local unemployed people giving them training, experience and valuable transferable skills. Invest NI is dedicated to supporting growth and economic development across all areas of Northern Ireland and has offered £343,000 of support to the company.”

Matthew Martin originally from Enniskillen, but living in Scotland and England for the past 12 years, developed the business opportunity with colleague Lee Hanford.

Commenting on the announcement he said:

“After considering other UK locations, we were convinced that Enniskillen offered us the best business environment in terms of cost effectiveness along with the quality and availability of talent.

“The support we have received has been important to us getting the operation up and running and we look forward to working with them as we grow the operation over the next couple of years.

“As an Enniskillen man myself, it is great to be able to give something back to the area by setting up the business here.”

Fermanagh Jobs fair show local employers have plenty to offer

October 13, 2014 11:00 am
Fermanagh Herald Jobs Fair 2014

Myrtle Woodhouse gets some information from Leah Beattie and Ciara Balfour from Source Employment

SEVERAL hundred people were in attendance at the third annual Fermanagh Jobs and Careers Fair at the South West College on Friday.

The event was organised by the college  in association with the Fermanagh Herald and ‘Business in the Community’ (BITC).

Official figures show that there were over 600 at the event, visiting a range of exhibitors across the public and private sector.

HR Manager for the Fermanagh Herald (North West News Group), Julie Hetherington, explained: “The event provided a forum for employers and support services to raise their profile to the community and provided an opportunity for Fermanagh folk to approach employers in an informal setting to ask about current and future employment opportunities.
“Employers unanimously agreed the event was a success, and those who attended on the day gained access to information and support in the event of seeking a new job or employment opportunity.”

Adrian Cullen, group operations manager at Cooneen Group, was in attendance.

“We’re trying to find local talent,” he explained, “We have had had very good experiences over the past number of years trying to attract great local talent and we think it’s a fantastic opportunity to expose our company to the local area.
“We obviously want someone that’s motivated, someone that has done research on the company – anybody that has the knowledge and skills to drive themselves forward,” he added.

Kelly Gileece, HR at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, felt it was important to recruit locally:

“We’re trying to make sure that the people who work for us are people who know the community, and can provide our guests with local experience.”

Lorraine Thompson, HR assistant Balcas, described the event as ‘crucial’.

“I think it’s been a very good day – there have been a lot of students who have put in a lot of preparation into coming along and asking for work placements,” she said.

“We have had a few people who have been actively looking for work.

“I think it’s crucial – I don’t think people always realise in the local area just how much industry there is and how much business is out there. For someone who is looking work, it gives them a snapshot of the full breadth of positions and jobs that are available.”

And, Caroline McCaffrey, HR manager with the Quinn Group explained: “We are delighted to see that there is still great talent and skills available in the Fermanagh area. It’s very important that businesses have jobs available and can retain the talent in the local area.”

She added: “It’s been very positive, with good people very keen to work.”

Opportunity knocks for Patrice at jobs fair

September 20, 2014 5:00 pm
Patrice - O2 Shop

Patrice from O2 Shop, Enniskillen

FOR Patrice Ryder, from Belleek, the decision to attend the Fermanagh jobs and careers fair last year at the South West College proved a positive one.

The 23-year-old who was unemployed at the time, attended the fair with friends and was surprised at the opportunities on offer.

At last year’s event, employers in attendance included Fermanagh District Council, Donnelly Motor Group, Quinn Group, Kerry Foods, Waterways Ireland, ASDA, PSNI, Lough Erne Resort, DEL, Grafton Recruitment and South West College among many other private and public sector bodies.

On October 2, a similar number of employers will convene for this year’s event.

The event is open to everyone and is for job seekers across all age groups including graduates, anyone wanting to return to work after a period of leave, anyone seeking a change of career, first time entrants to the job market or anyone who has taken early retirement and wants to return to work.

And, among those in attendance last year was Patrice, who had recently returned from Australia and was seeking employment.

“I had been unemployed at the time for quite a while. I’d just come back from Australia and I went to the jobs fair needing work – I hadn’t been to anything like it before,” she explained.

“I would have applied for jobs from the paper and things like that. I was with a few of my friends and a few opportunities came up for them as well.”

The opportunity came to work at O2 Enniskillen with owner of Dev Retail (Pizza Hut Delivery, Enniskillen and O2 Enniskillen), Declan Devlin, recruiting at the event.

Declan explained: “We’ve always been recruiting in the Fermanagh area so we thought it was a good opportunity. There was a lot of interest from other businesses and it was a good opportunity to bring everybody locally together at one time for a jobs fair.

“And we were lucky that Patrice came along because she was exactly what we were looking for at the time.”

Patrice went on: “I had worked in retail before. Declan was looking for people at the time, and I was happy that he’d took me on. I didn’t actually expect to get anything out of it.

“My role now is sales advisor – I meet and greet people, sit them down and speak them through things, it’s something I definitely enjoy.”

For those thinking of going to the jobs fair, Patrice added: “I’d say definitely go along – it’s a great opportunity to see what’s out there and what employers are looking for.”

The event on October 2 is free to attend and open to everyone seeking employment or employment related advice.

The Fermanagh jobs and careers fair is supported by ‘South West College’ and the ‘Fermanagh Herald,’ in partnership with ‘Business in the Community’.

Further details can be obtained from Fermanagh Herald, HR Manager, Julie Hetherington, , t:028 8241 5006.

MLA has doubts over 65 proposed Forestry Service jobs for Fermanagh

September 18, 2014 11:00 am
Inishkeen House Enniskillen

The Department of Agriculture’s Inishkeen House in Enniskillen

A TOTAL OF 65 Forest Service jobs jobs will come to Fermanagh by June 2015 it has been confirmed, but one local MLA remains unconvinced on where the new staff will be accomodated.

Last week in Stormont Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill confirmed the proposed move of 65 jobs to Inishkeen House in Enniskillen was on track.

The issue of descentralisation within the Forest Service has been on the table for over two years and it remains the basis of much contention In February of this year local MLA Tom Elliott hit out at the ‘failure’ of the the Agricultural Department to relocate staff to Inishkeen House after the numbers scheduled for the move were scaled down by almost half from over 100.

He remains concerned by the process.

“Obviously I’m still very frustrated on two counts. The first one is that only 65 jobs are coming instead of the 100 meant to be coming. The second is how slow the process is. I think it is three years in May since it was announced first and still there is no significant progress. I’m not aware of them having secured any property either.

“I obviously welcome the news they’re going to come here and the jobs, but I think there needs to be more urgency, I think the department have dragged their heels on the matter.”

Mr Elliott also questioned the viability of Inishkeen House as the location for a further 65 positions and took issue with the Minister’s comment that the building can ‘potentially accommodate more staff’.

“Either it can or it can’t. Are they going to have it in Inishkeen House or not? I honestly don’t think they can accomodate more staff, Inishkeen House is fairly up to capacity in my mind unless you’re going to shed jobs somewhere else. It is very, very uncertain.”

Last week in Stormont local Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan asked the minister for information on the date of the move and confirmation on the number of staff.

She confirmed: “The first phase of that work is complete, and it has been confirmed that Inishkeen House can potentially accommodate more staff. The indications are that, with an internal redesign, Forest Service headquarters staff could be accommodated there. I am very pleased with that, and I assure the member that we are on target and working very hard to be able to deliver the project and for staff to be there by June next year.”

“It is good to get good news here the odd time,” remarked Mr Flanagan.

The Minister said the move was ‘on target’ and added: “It is about making sure that staff feel comfortable with all the moves, so we have a significant lead-in time to allow all that to happen. It is all very positive stuff.”

Local UUP councillor Alex Baird, a retired civil servant, welcomed the possibility of further jobs being brought to Fermanagh.

“I certainly welcome the descentralisation of positions in the civil service and especially jobs coming to Fermanagh, particularly with the loss of jobs in the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency. As a retired civil servant I realise the benefits of people living in the county and working in the county.”

Hopes that new ‘shop’ can help create jobs in Enniskillen

September 9, 2014 2:00 pm

A relaxed Alex Baird


THE new ‘First Stop Shop’ launched in the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen has been given the thumbs up from Fermanagh District Council.

The service launched on Monday morning provides information, sign posting and support to local ‘start-up’ and established businesses, in order to facilitate the growth of their businesses and encourage take-up of the current help available from agencies such as Invest Northern Ireland and Intertrade Ireland.

Speaking at Monday night’s meeting of Fermanagh District Council UUP councillor Alex Baird called the service a “very interesting, innovative way of getting things going. It is great to see the Clinton Centre will be used positively.”

He commended all those involved in the project.

His views were echoed by Sinn Fein’s Thomas O’Reilly who called it a ‘landmark’ day.

He said the key to the success of the service now was for local businesses to take it up.

“There’s an awful lot of good advice and practical support, which will help business move forward and will help sustain business.”

In the long term the councillor hoped the success of the ‘First Stop Shop’ would ultimately provide indigenous jobs in the county.

“Jobs which are sorely needed, when you see the lack of investment from Invest NI and see the debacle of the roads infrastructure, which doesn’t help.”

He added: “This is very important and I would encourage as many businesses locally as possible to avail of this service to grow and prosper.”

Council chairman Bert Johnston welcomed the ‘First Stop Shop’ and said it was good to see businesses starting here and being given an opportunity to grow through this service.

35 jobs after £11m investment in Fermanagh’s Webtech

9:59 am



Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Webtech (NI) Ltd Managing Director Nigel McSorley after announcing an £11 million investment which is expected to create 35 jobs at the Enniskillen-based packaging company.

AN £11million investment by Enniskillen packaging company Webtech NI Ltd is expected to create 35 jobs.

Webtech specialises in the production of labels for the European soft drinks industry and is the largest supplier of flexographic reel-fed labels to the United Kingdom and Ireland. It has a number of high profile customers including Coca-Cola, Schweppes, Nestle and all the major supermarkets. The company intends to increase its processing capacity and further build export sales through the investment.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Webtech NI is a local company that has built up an international reputation based on delivering the highest standard of quality and service from its state-of-the-art production facility. The company has provided high quality sustainable manufacturing jobs in Enniskillen for many years, growing in size as it penetrated the Great Britain and European markets.

“This significant investment will underpin Webtech’s goal of increasing sales by £10million over the next four years, focusing on export growth in Europe and North Africa. It reflects the company’s commitment to Fermanagh and its excellent standing in the international marketplace.

“The new jobs will pay salaries well above the Northern Ireland private sector median and the new equipment will ensure that Webtech has the capacity and technology to retain its position as market leader.”

Webtech currently employs 120 people at its premises in Killyhevlin Industrial Estate, Enniskillen.

Latest: 20 new jobs for Fermanagh electrical company

August 28, 2014 3:07 pm
GR White 3

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Rodney and George White after announcing 20 new jobs at Fermanagh-based electrical contracting company, G R White & Son.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced 20 new jobs at G R White & Son based in Tempo.

The award winning electrical contracting company currently employs 35 people, providing a wide range of services. The new positions will include apprentice and qualified electricians, quantity surveyors and project planners.

Arlene Foster said: “The new jobs are a direct result of a decision by the company to focus on new opportunities in the Renewable Energy sector and the investment announced today will help to fuel future growth within current export markets.

“The expansion of G R White & Son will help create sustainable employment within the local Fermanagh area, as the new roles are for both apprenticeships and qualified employees. These jobs will suit people just starting out in their chosen careers as well as those looking to develop their current professional skills.

“G R White & Son is an example of the resilience, innovation and hard work which is characteristic of so many successful Northern Ireland family-run businesses. George White, Managing Director, and Rodney White, Operations Director, have seen persistent growth in the company over the last 40 years by continually targeting new opportunities.

“For Northern Ireland to prosper we must ensure that businesses are supported, new markets are explored and that companies are encouraged to compete by growing exports.”

Invest Northern Ireland has offered £42,000 of support for six of the 20 new positions which are being created within the company.

Rodney White, Operations Director of GR White, said: “We aim to grow our turnover substantially over the next two years and to increase the current market share of our business both in Ireland and the UK.

“The company has an extremely strong portfolio of completed projects in education, health, utility and public sector markets. With our expansion now underway, we plan to grow this further by adding a more diverse range of services within the company. By doing so we are sure that we can secure more market share. We are very grateful for the support we have received from Invest Northern Ireland and could not have embarked on expansion within the business over such a short period without its assistance.”

Six local jobs go in Environment Agency

August 18, 2014 10:00 am

AT LEAST SIX temporary  jobs have gone locally in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency due to cut-backs, but the workers have yet to receive written confirmation.

The temporary agency staff, responsible for the maintenance of grass and monuments at local landmarks such as Castle Archdale and Devenish Island have lost their jobs as a result of a recent Northern Ireland Executive cutbacks.

A DOE spokesman confirmed the cuts across the North.

“Owing to the recent Executive decision to cut budgets, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has had no choice but to release a number of temporary agency staff earlier than planned. The majority of these temporary staff were taken on for the summer months at a number of the NIEA visitor attractions.

“However, the NIEA is putting in place contingency measures to maintain service levels as much as practicable at these visitor facilities. This should allow the people of Northern Ireland and tourists to continue to enjoy them over the remaining peak period.”

Local UUP councillor Raymond Farrell revealed that these staff members have been left in limbo, as while they have been verbally informed that they have lost their jobs, they yet to receive written confirmation.

“There is anxiety and uncertainty as they are unsure do they still go to work until the end of September when their contract is due to run out.”

He continued:    “I am very disappointed to learn of these job losses and the sudden manner and method of delivery to employees. These staff were providing a valuable service in the local community and in a tourist county as Fermanagh, their work was valuable and essential. I immediately on hearing this news contacted senior officials in the council who were unaware of these job losses and as yet what contingency plans had been put in place in the height of the summer season.

“The loss of one’s job is devastating, people have financial commitments like mortgages, young families to care for, as well as their own self esteem and self worth. We hear talk of economic recovery yet for these people who are without a job that is worthless.”