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NIE Networks creates 110 new jobs as part of investment to accelerate NI’s green growth

Paul Stapleton, Managing Director at NIE Networks, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons and John French, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator.

NIE Networks is creating 110 new jobs as part of its plan to enhance Northern Ireland’s electricity network to help tackle climate change and boost economic recovery. Part of an additional £50 million investment in the electricity network over the next three years, the move will see a focus on the rollout of clean energy infrastructure which will create additional capacity for customers adopting low carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, particularly in rural areas.

The new jobs will include craft and technical roles, people working ‘hands on’ on the network, including additional apprenticeship and graduate opportunities, as well as engineers, analysts and a number of roles in professional business support such as IT and digital, procurement, human resources and finance.

As part of the recruitment drive, NIE Networks will also focus on increasing the skills base needed by the clean energy sector in the coming years. In conjunction with the Department for the Economy, it will provide world-class development and deliver traineeships and apprenticeships through its award-winning apprenticeship programme and training centre. The move will provide opportunities for both young people and existing workers seeking re-deployment.

The additional investment has been approved by the Utility Regulator and aligns with the new Energy Strategy launched by the Minister for the Economy in December which sets a vision of Net Zero Affordable Energy. This investment in clean energy will help grow the green economy and reduce Northern Ireland’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Paul Stapleton, Managing Director of NIE Networks, 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.”

John French, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator, said:

“We have a real opportunity to build a low carbon future by investing prudently in electricity infrastructure in Northern Ireland. Today’s announcement represents an important milestone in taking practical, tangible steps to deliver on net zero.

“This investment will assist us in meeting the NI Executive’s targets for net zero by increasing renewable generation and the adoption of low carbon technologies by consumers across Northern Ireland.”

Northern Ireland’s new energy strategy – The Path to Net Zero – will create jobs and lead to more affordable energy, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said on Thursday.

Pictured at W5 in Belfast at the launch of the Action Plan for the Path to Net Zero Energy are (l-r) Grainia Long, Housing Executive Chief Executive; Noyona Chundur, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council; Economy Minister Gordon Lyons; NIE Networks Managing Director Paul Stapleton; Pat Austin of National Energy Action; and John French, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator.

The Minister was speaking as he launched a 22-point Action Plan for the Path to Net Zero Energy and as NIE Networks announced 110 new jobs aligned to the strategy.

The Minister was supported at the launch at W5’s new Energise exhibition in Belfast by representatives of NIE Networks, the Housing Executive, the Consumer Council, National Energy Action and the Utility Regulator.

He said: “I am delighted that The Path to Net Zero has been endorsed by some of the most important organisations working in the energy sector. A collaborative approach is vital to putting affordability front and centre of our new strategy and action plan. We will take an energy-efficiency-first approach which will help consumers reduce the energy they use and therefore minimise their energy bills.

“The action plan maps out the best route to ensuring people will live and work in more energy efficient buildings, whilst helping some of the most vulnerable in society to live in warmer homes, reduce ill-health and ultimately save lives. We understand people need information, advice and financial support to make some of these changes, particularly with affordability in mind, and we will ensure that the appropriate help is available.”

The Minister welcomed the announcement by NIE, saying it bolsters the strategy’s vision for a Green Economy, which aims to create new jobs and grow a skills base for the low carbon economy through innovation, support and focusing on our competitive strengths.

He added: “I’m delighted and encouraged that NIE Networks is investing in our energy future. As we progress on the route laid out by The Path to Net Zero Energy, we can expect to see further investments in clean energy, which will create real economic opportunities on the ground for our businesses and people. We are aiming to double the size of our low carbon and renewable energy economy. This will create the jobs of the future and we will work to ensure everyone has the skills and training needed to benefit from this.

“I therefore welcome NIE Networks’ commitment to delivering a broad spectrum of jobs, including senior positions and apprenticeships through its award-winning apprenticeship programme, and training centre as part of this announcement.”

Recruitment for the new jobs is already underway. New roles will be available on the NIE Networks website at:


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