Almac has committed to invest $54m ($90m) to expand its headcount with the UK Government’s regional development agency, Invest Northern Ireland, agreeing to contribute £5.5m to the recruitment drive.
The contract manufacturing organisation’s (CMO) development and manufacturing unit will add 141 new staff, while its clinical wing – which provides drug companies with packaging, logistics and supply services – will gain 181 staff by 2019.
Foster said: “These 348 new jobs will generate salaries of over £9.4m per annum when the projects are fully implemented. This is a significant cash injection for the local economy. The investments are also good news for our growing life sciences sector, which is gaining an international reputation for innovation and excellence.”
Almac – which will also create 26 jobs across the group - said it will invest in additional in cold chain storage and distribution facilities and enhanced information systems to capitalise on the demand from clients, but did not go into specifics.
A company spokesmen told Outsourcing-pharma.com that it will invest in cold chain facilities to increase the capacity for labelling and packaging of temperature sensitive biologics in Craigavon as well as in expansion and improvement of existing facilities.
The spokesman added that Almac is interested in people with skills in IT, engineering, analysis, chemistry and project management and “will be looking for applicants who are both graduates and time-served, experienced individuals.”
He also said there is “absolutely no restriction” on where Almac can look for new employees, adding that the firm “will recruit globally and relocate to NI if necessary.”
This was confirmed by Invest NI spokeswoman Jennifer Pleavin confirmed this telling us that its "support places no restrictions on who Almac can hire for these jobs."